Redknapp: Bournemouth will be up for the fight

Saturday 13 April 2024 14:14

Manchester United can expect to face a Bournemouth side full of confidence and energy on Saturday night, according to former Cherries player and manager Harry Redknapp.

Speaking exclusively to us ahead of the 17:30 BST kick-off on the south coast, Redknapp expressed his admiration for the job that Andoni Iraola has done during his first season in charge at the Vitality Stadium.

The Spaniard’s team occupy 12th spot in the Premier League with seven games to go and are in no danger of relegation, sitting just two points outside the top half of the table.

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“They're a good side, they're full of energy and they get at teams,” said Redknapp, providing an insight on our next opponents Bournemouth, where he began his renowned managerial career between 1983 and 1992, after a four-season spell at the club during his playing days.

“They have a go, they're bright. The manager has done a great job and it won't be an easy game for United. It's not an easy game for anybody going down there to play. 

“They've got lots of sharp, bright footballers. They move the ball quickly and [Dominic] Solanke is in great form up front. You know, scoring goals, leading the line well. It will be a tough game.”
The aforementioned Solanke, Bournemouth’s top scorer, has 16 Premier League goals to his name already this season and is set to provide a talismanic threat to United in the Saturday teatime kick-off.

But, as Redknapp explains, the Cherries have quality to watch out for all over the pitch and play in compact surroundings at the Vitality Stadium, where the home supporters can seek to have an impact on the contest.

“It's a small stadium, as you know, only 11,400 [capacity], a tiny little stadium [but it] creates a great atmosphere,” Redknapp added.

“And they'd be up for it, the fans. I mean, Man United coming, it’s probably always the game of the year. So, they're going to be up for that.”
Solanke's qualities are known to United, with the striker netting in December's reverse fixture.
No extra motivation will be needed for Erik ten Hag’s team however, with more important points up for grabs in our pursuit of a Champions League spot for next season.

The Reds may also be after a spot of revenge, after Bournemouth’s 3-0 victory in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford, which Redknapp says his old club will take further belief from going into Saturday’s clash, as they look to record a first-ever Premier League double over United.

“Whoever thought we'd see Bournemouth going to Old Trafford and winning 3-0? I mean, it's almost beyond belief. If you know the history of this football club and where it's been for the last 100 years or so, it really was unbelievable. 

“So, they’ll take confidence from that. They've been to Chelsea and won since they've been in the Premier League the last few years too. It's been an amazing story.”