Manchester United to end the season on a high against AFC BournemouthPublished May 17, 2016
The final match of the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League season was called off on police advice before a ball was kicked on Sunday due to a suspect package being found in the ground, which now turns out to be a leftover from a training program. While the championship and relegation positions were all decide prior to the weekend, some issues, like European qualification remained.
At the weekend Southampton finished an impressive season in the Europa League position, due to a superior goal difference over the Red Devils. However, a draw would see Van Gaal’s men leapfrog the Saints into fifth. Champions League qualification remains mathematically possible, but an eighteen goal deficit to Manchester rivals City, who are in fourth, means that they will have to settle for Europe’s second tier competition.
This is probably the last thing United needed with an FA Cup Final at the weekend. With defenders Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian already injury doubts and Adnan Januzaj out with a hamstring injury, Marouane Fellaini banned, while Bastian Schweinsteiger and Luke Shaw are still injured, the last thing Van Gaal will need is further injuries ahead of Saturday’s final clash with Crystal Palace.
Bournemouth, having stayed just out of the relegation fray over the last few weeks, have less at stake. In fact, manager Eddie Howe rotated his squad with five changes for the postponed game on Sunday.
While United have had a stuttering campaign, they have remained solid at home. They have won six of their past seven league games at Old Trafford, drawing the other and have conceded just eight league goals at home this campaign, fewer than any other team in the top flight.