Manchester United vs Bournemouth preview: Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial doubts
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Last Updated: 30/12/18 3:43pm
Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial are doubts for Manchester United as they prepare to host Bournemouth in the Premier League on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has overseen comprehensive wins against Cardiff and Huddersfield in his first two matches since succeeding Jose Mourinho.
Martial scored in the first game at Cardiff but missed the Huddersfield match through illness, while Lukaku and Sanchez were unavailable for both fixtures.
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Solskjaer said: "Romelu, Anthony and Alexis they were light, light [training] on Thursday so hopefully they can join part of the training today (Friday) and let's see after how they come through.
"My chats with Anthony, Romelu, Alexis, whoever... [they have] not felt that they cannot produce their best of football. I'm here to guide them, help them on the path and then it's up to them to do it on the pitch."
Bournemouth's 5-0 defeat to Spurs at Wembley on Boxing Day was their seventh in nine Premier League matches. That run has seen them slip into the bottom half of the table after a flying start to the campaign, but Howe's side are a healthy 14 points above the bottom three.
Manager Eddie Howe said: "Sunday will be a tough game. Whenever you go to Old Trafford it's a tough assignment. We're looking forward to rising to the challenge, they've had two good results. We'd love to elevate our position, of course, [but] we're still in control of what we do this season."
Marcos Rojo and Scott McTominay are edging closer to a return for United, while Chris Smalling is out until the new year with a sore foot. Antonio Valencia is also building his fitness ahead of the game.
Bournemouth will be without injured captain Simon Francis. He is the third Cherries player to sustain a serious knee injury this season after he ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in the Boxing Day defeat to Tottenham.
Adam Smith and Lewis Cook are both in rehabilitation, while Dan Gosling has also missed the Christmas fixture programme due to a knee problem.
After losing their first ever league clash with Bournemouth in December 2015, Manchester United are unbeaten in each of the last six Premier League games against them (W5 D1).
Bournemouth have never beaten Man Utd at Old Trafford in all competitions, losing six and drawing one. The Cherries have netted just two goals in those seven matches.
In all competitions, Bournemouth have won just two of their 15 previous matches against Manchester United (D3 L10), keeping just one clean sheet in the process (2-0 win January 1984, FA Cup Round 3).
Manchester United are looking to secure three consecutive Premier League victories for the first time since a run of five in April.
Manchester United have failed to score in more home league games this season (2) than they've kept clean sheets at Old Trafford (1).
Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has scored seven goals in just six Premier League appearances against Bournemouth, including bagging six in his last three versus the Cherries.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to become only the third Man Utd manager to win his first three league games in charge of the club, after Matt Busby and Jose Mourinho.
It is funny how the players are all starting to run around now. Solskjaer must be one of the best managers in the world. The players should be embarrassed. They have been making it look easy of late, and Bournemouth won't be able to stop them at Old Trafford. It is a great run of fixtures for Solskjaer, and they are on a high at the moment, so will make light work of Bournemouth, They need the clean sheet, but don't look as solid as they once were.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (10/1 with Sky Bet)