Key battles Match points: Bournemouth v Man United

Simon Francis
Simon FrancisTEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ACTION IMAGES
Anthony Martial
Anthony MartialTEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ACTION IMAGES
Harry Arter
Harry ArterTEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ACTION IMAGES
Michael Carrick
Michael CarrickTEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ACTION IMAGES
Joshua King
Joshua KingTEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ACTION IMAGES
Daley Blind
Daley BlindTEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ACTION IMAGES

Simon Francis v Anthony Martial

Stand-in skipper Francis is a right-back by trade but was Man of the Match as a central defender at Stamford Bridge. Martial should be spared the blame for United's Champions League exit. He starred and impressed, and is looking back at his best. Francis must worry about what he could do in the inside-left channel.


Harry Arter v Michael Carrick

Van Gaal erred by leaving his vice-captain on the bench for 69 minutes in Germany. Others' absences should ensure Carrick returns. Arter cost Bournemouth £4,000 from non-league Woking and has become an Ireland international. An excellent technician, he is the most attacking of their three central midfield players.


Joshua King v Daley Blind

King began his career at United, though he never started a game for them. The Norwegian is an infrequent scorer but seriously quick, which could cause the slow Blind problems. Yet the Dutchman is pivotal; he may be the only senior, specialist defender and could have the task of holding a new-look back four together.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2015, with the headline 'Key battles Match points: Bournemouth v Man United'. Print Edition | Subscribe