Pogba suspended for Bournemouth opener

Jose Mourinho and Wayne Rooney

New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has kept Wayne Rooney as his captain for the 2016-17 season


Manchester United’s world-record signing Paul Pogba is suspended for Sunday’s game against Bournemouth.

The ban was incurred by Pogba picking up two bookings in last season’s Coppa Italia while at Juventus.

Chris Smalling is also banned but new signings Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly will play.

Bournemouth winger Junior Stanislas is out with a hernia problem but £15m club record signing Jordan Ibe is among the likely debutants.


Jonathan Pearce: “”Roll up! Roll up! The Greatest Show on Earth is here for an end-of-the-pier summertime special!

“World-famous ringmaster Jose! Dramatics guaranteed.

Zlatan the Great starts his trek for a seventh successive debut season title across five countries.

“Jose must make do without the world’s most expensive player and says his players are ‘undercooked’. Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson, fit and almost like a new signing, can certainly feast on any raw spots in the United defence.

“The Cherries have strengthened sensibly but must beware second-season syndrome. Don’t gauge their season on this one though!”


Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe on the new season: “I am expecting it to be harder (than last season).

“I think the quality of the league has gone up when you look at the quality of managers that have come in, the players that have been attracted to the league and the money that has been spent.

“I think we have improved but I think everybody else will have at the same time so the challenge is going to be tougher – and we need to make sure we respond.”

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: “We feel that we are candidates to win the title. Many more think the same way as us but they are afraid to say it. They prefer to play a defensive game in words.

“I think Manchester United has to say we want to win the title. At the end of the season if we are not champions because someone is better than us then great, that’s football.”


I think the Cherries are in for another solid season but Manchester United will be in the hunt for the title this season, and I think they will begin with a win.

Prediction: 0-2

Lawro’s full predictions v indie band Blossoms

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.

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Superstar managers set to do battle in Premier League



  • Bournemouth are unbeaten in their last four home meetings with Manchester United in all competitions (W2, D2), including a 2-1 Premier League win in 2015-16.


  • Bournemouth only won one of their last eight matches (W1, D1, L6) in their debut season in the top flight, finishing 16th.
  • The Cherries lost all five of the Premier League games that they played on a Sunday in 2015-16.

Manchester United

  • Manchester United have won 15 of their 24 opening fixtures in the Premier League, a joint-high with Chelsea.
  • Four of United’s five opening day defeats in the Premier League have come away from home.
  • Jose Mourinho has won six and drawn one of his previous seven Premier League opening fixtures.
  • Wayne Rooney has scored six goals on the opening weekend, more than any other player currently in the Premier League.
  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan assisted a league-high 15 goals in the German Bundesliga last season.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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