Confirmed Starting XI: Lukaku, Mata and Rashford lead the line; Pereira and Matic start against Burnley

Manchester United welcome Burnley to the Theatre of Dreams on Tuesday evening in the final match of January. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has been resurgent in the eight matches he has led the club, winning each one; six in the Premier League and two in the Emirates FA Cup. Sean Dyche’s Burnley may not be looking forward to their visit to Old Trafford after their mauling at the hands of Manchester City in the FA Cup this weekend.

These are matches that United should be winning, both on paper and on the pitch but recently, United had found it hard to beat Burnley on occasions. Under Jose Mourinho, United had drawn two of the last five matches against the Lancashire club – one of those a 0-0 draw which saw United having chance after chance and failing to score. United and Burnley have played a total of 127 matches with United winning 61, drawing 22 and losing 44 times – the last defeat was back in 2009.

United will be looking for their ninth win in a row in all competitions in this game, putting the pressure on Arsenal, who they have matches in total points accumulated so far this season, sitting behind them with two goals fewer in goal difference. Arsenal faces Cardiff City at the Emirates Stadium on the same night, kicking off just 15 minutes before United. If Cardiff plays it clever, they could get a good result against Arsenal, which could see United move above the North London side, who they beat in the FA Cup.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw;


Mata, Pereira, Pogba, Rashford;



Romero; Smalling, Dalot; Lingard, Fred, Herrera; Sanchez

Solskjaer has United’s confidence at an all-time high at this moment in time. Eight wins from eight matches, 22 goals scored, six goals conceded, three clean sheets, 18 points won in the Premier League and two wins in the FA Cup, putting United into the fifth round of the competition this season. This is the final match of January and United will be seeking to end the month on a high. There are some great goals which could be up for goal of the month and Solskjaer could even be nominated for manager of the month yet.

It is amazing to think that this side, who were devoid of confidence at the start of September and playing a poor standard of football, are playing the way they are right now, scoring so many goals and turning a poor season into one that could end with United getting somewhere, which may not have happened under Mourinho. At the start of December, Mourinho suggested that his side would be in the top four by 2019, which then turned into the top six.

The Norwegian has shown that he could well be a contender for the next permanent manager at the club, meaning that there will be little change as the coaching staff could remain, which is something that should have happened when David Moyes took the role at the club. The players seem to love playing for Solskjaer, the fans love Solskjaer and if the hierarchy of the club does not love Solskjaer, then there is something wrong somewhere.

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copyright: JW

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