Betting tips for Jose Mourinho’s first Premier League game in the United hotseat.
This November marks what would have been Sir Alex Ferguson’s thirtieth anniversary as Manchester United manager. However, with another force of nature now occupying the Old Trafford hotseat, the absence of ‘Fergie’ should be less prominently felt in the coming months.
Jose Mourinho has wasted no time in changing his predecessors setup with several major signings, most notably Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund. However, reality never fails to trump the undying dream, and a recent 4-1 thrashing at the hands of that team, in the International Champions Cup, has only served to underline the amount of work that is required to restore United to former glories.
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Before dreams of another 1999 (or 2008) can be realised, the club must begin its quest for redemption in the humble surroundings of Dean Court on 14th August. It is by far the smallest ground in the top flight, yet one which houses a team with perhaps the greatest collective heart in the league.
Total Bournemouth Goals
Led by a pioneering young manager who many consider to be a modernised (if somewhat diluted) version of the legendary Brian Clough, Bournemouth will be a far from easy prospect on the opening day. Matchday betting markets are set to fluctuate drastically between now and the season’s first Super Sunday match, and there is not much in the way of historical trends on which to make decisions.
Though on a much smaller monetary scale, Howe has shown determination equal to Mourinho’s in this summer transfer market, most notably signing Jordon Ibe from Liverpool for an undisclosed amount.
This will be the second time that Howe faces Mourinho in the Premier League, yet it is the younger man who possesses a distinct psychological advantage, having won his previous encounter with Mourinho at Stamford Bridge last December. Expect a dynamic start from Bournemouth.
Tip: Over 1.5 Bournemouth goals @ 18/5
Total Goals: Over/Under
The 4-1-4-1 formation often deployed by Howe in 2015/16 served to frustrate the so-called stronger teams, enabling the Cherries to dominate in the wide areas. The aforementioned acquisition of Jordon Ibe can only redouble what is already Bournemouth’s greatest strength under Howe. United must gel instantly to stem this threat, but doing so successfully against an already cohesive squad will be a tall order under a new regime.
Last season, the two fixtures produced a total of seven goals, and with both managers apparently focusing on midfield as an area for improvement, a high-scoring game is not out of the question. Regardless of the opposition, Howe and Mourinho always play to win, and the unique atmosphere of an opening game never fails to ignite any player worth the crowd’s attention.
Tip: Over 3.5 Goals @ 31/10
Leading at HT / FT
Since United now boast an extra source of attacking potency in midfield with Mkhitaryan’s inclusion, the degree of incisiveness that was so badly lacking in United’s December defeat at Dean Court is also no longer an issue.
The odds for a Manchester United win, with the Red Devils leading at HT and FT, have shortened since the arrival of Mourinho. Although this may come as a disappointment to the more optimistic of gambling Stretfordites, greater rewards can be found in the market which specifies clear winners in a certain half.
Bournemouth will attack without fear, but United’s superior fitness levels should at least see the Red Devils outscore their hosts.
Tip: United to win both halves @ 4/1