This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Having really broken through during Jose Mourinho’s tenure as Manchester United manager, Scott McTominay has come on leaps and bounds in terms of his ability and role in the first-team.
The Scotland international played 31 times over the course of the Portuguese man’s reign, before really establishing himself as a key part of the current United set-up under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. This season alone, the 22-year-old has played 13 times, including featuring in every single Premier League game.
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He will no doubt be hoping to continue that run when the Red Devils travel to face Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth in the Saturday lunch-time kick-off, and the academy product will be coming up against a man-mountain like himself in Philip Billing.
The battle in midfield is always one of the key contests of any footballing clash, and when McTominay and Billing collide at the weekend, it could prove to be the decisive match-up in terms of who comes away with the win.
At 6 foot 4, McTominay is one of the most physically dominant midfielders in the Premier League, and he invariably casts a literal shadow over his opponents. But on Saturday, he will experience the rare feeling of not being the tallest man in the middle of the park, when he faces off against the 6 foot 6 Billing.
The Dane arrived at Bournemouth from Huddersfield, and has quickly established himself as a key component of Howe’s side. He has averaged an impressive 2.3 tackles and 2.6 interceptions per game in the Premier League, and his long, rangy frame helps him cover the ground in imposing fashion.
Similarly, McTominay has been defensively strong this season, and in a standout performance against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, made an incredible five tackles, five interceptions and eight duels won.
If McTominay can overpower his midfield counterpart, and continue his fine recent form, then United stand an excellent chance of muzzling Bournemouth on Saturday. In the land of the giants, the Red Devils will need their 22-year-old to dominate the occasion.