Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has remained coy on team selection ahead of his side's visit to Manchester United on Sunday (15 May). Despite enduring hard luck with injuries, the Cherries have adapted relatively well to the demands of the Premier League since their meteoric rise through the lower divisions and travel to Old Trafford on the final day with any fears of an immediate return to the Championship long since banished.
Following last weekend's 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion that saw an effort from substitute Matt Ritchie cancel out Salomon Rondon's first-half opener and goalkeeper Artur Boruc redeem himself for a costly error by saving a late Craig Gardner penalty, Bournemouth are 16th. However, they could yet rise as high as 12th depending on other results. Howe has no new injuries to contend with ahead of the match, with only defensive duo Sylvain Distin and Adam Smith ruled out with back problems and a hernia respectively.
"We have the same injuries we have had in recent weeks," the manager told reporters at a press conference held early on Thursday morning (12 May). "I don't think there is any change to that, but we might possibly shuffle things around slightly. We'll have a look at it.
"Last week was a good chance for us to see a couple of players that haven't had a lot of football of late, with mixed results to be honest. There were mixed performances from the guys, so we will have a look and try to pick our strongest team to get a result."
The game has much more significance from a Manchester United perspective as it represents their last chance to secure Champions League qualification for the 2016-17 campaign. After a dramatic 3-2 defeat in the final match to be played at West Ham's Boleyn Ground earlier this week, Louis van Gaal's fifth-place side remain two points adrift of Manchester City and must win while hoping that their local rivals return from Swansea City empty-handed. United's inferior goal difference means that a win for them coupled with a City draw would almost certainly not be enough.
A failure to finish in the top four is likely to end Van Gaal's reign 12 months ahead of schedule, regardless of whether or not they overcome Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday 21 May. There are plenty that believe the unpopular Dutchman's fate has already been sealed amid constant speculation regarding the imminent arrival of Jose Mourinho, although reports that he pulled out of the running to sign Bayern Munich-bound midfielder Renato Sanches from Benfica this week in order to pursue other targets suggests that he is still influencing transfer policy.