Manchester United will travel to face Burnley at Turf Moor in the Premier League on Tuesday evening. Ralf Rangnick’s side were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup in the fourth round at the hands of Middlesbrough on Friday, losing 8-7 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
It is imperative that United find a way back to winning ways as another trophy has been ruled out this season, which could mean United have failed to win a trophy for the last five seasons, last winning the FA Community Shield, EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League in the 2016/17 season.
Burnley could be seeking to surprise United this season, last beating United on the 22 January 2020 with a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford with saw Chris Wood, now playing for Newcastle United and Jay Rodriguez scoring the goals – United have won the last three meetings.
United made no winter signings, allowing Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Amad Diallo all leave the club which means United’s strength in depth is much weaker, unless Rangnick is prepared to bring in a number of youth players into the first team, which might be needed.
Previous meetings with Burnley and their connections with Manchester United.
United and Burnley have met 15 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won nine times, drawing four with Burnley winning twice. United have scored 24 goals, winning four penalties, scoring two. Burnley have scored 10 goals, winning no penalties.
United have kept eight clean sheets in this fixture with Burnley keeping four. There is a disciplinary problem between these teams with United players shown 25 yellow cards and two red cards and Burnley players being shown 36 yellow cards and are yet to receive a red card.
United and Burnley have had 15 players playing for both clubs. Phil Bardsley, Luke Chadwick, Andy Cole, John Connelly, Chris Eagles, Richard Eckersley, David Jones, Michael Keane, David May, Willie Morgan, John O’Kane, Mike Phelan, Lee Roche, Colin Waldron and John Walton.
The more well known players on the list are Morgan who played for United from 1968-75, Mike Phelan, current assistant who played for United from 1989-94 and treble winners Andy Cole, who played for United from 1995-01 and David May who played for United from 1994-03.
Here is my predicted starting XI to face Burnley in the Premier League at Turf Moor on Tuesday evening…
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
David De Gea was named the Manchester United and Premier League Player of the Month for January, which was an honour that he deserved after his performances for the club. He will need to work much harder in February as United need him so much.
The season is close to being yet another write off for United with both cup competitions; the Carabao Cup and the Emirates FA Cup continuing without United’s involvement. They are unlikely to mount a challenge in the league either, leaving the UEFA Champions League – which is unlikely.
Dean Henderson got the nod over De Gea against Middlesbrough, which was good to see, although it was another defeat for United in a cup competition. Henderson will be expecting more minutes this season but De Gea will be seeking to keep his place too.
Defenders: Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw
Both Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw did well in the fullback roles against Middlesbrough, getting forward a lot of the time and neither were really tested defensively. I think they should keep their places against Burnley as they could make up the difference between a win and a defeat.
Harry Maguire started against Middlesbrough and whilst he was largely untested, there were some moments that could have been much different had he been in his position or read the game much better. I would have liked Phil Jones to start instead to be fair. Maguire needs to shape up.
Raphael Varane is the difference in this United defence. He has been solid when he has played and does what is needed without having to really make himself known. The silent performances mean that he is doing what he needs to be doing. He will not be happy about this season though.
Midfield Three: Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes
Paul Pogba returned from injury against Middlesbrough and had a good game considering the time he has been out of action. Chances are that he will leave the club this summer, as a free agent but between now and they, he will need to put in some magnificent performances to get noticed.
Bruno Fernandes tried to be the big game player in the FA Cup defeat, having some good chances and getting United forward. However, it did not work well for the club who endured 120 minutes of football, losing on penalties. He did receive a knock but should be ready for this match.
Scott McTominay played well against Middlesbrough, playing in the defensive role in the midfield but he god forward a lot of the time United were attacking. He is a consistent player in terms of offering the right mentality at the club, which sone players lack. He should keep his place in this match.
Forwards: Jadon Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford
Jadon Sancho scored a great goal for United against Middlesbrough and it should really have been his second in the match – hitting the crossbar in the opening two minutes. He came off with an injury, so might not make this match but the chances are that he will be available.
Cristiano Ronaldo did not offer much against Middlesbrough, missing with a speculative overhead kick, also missing a penalty, which could have been the difference in the match. Towards the end of the match, frustration played a part with United unlikely to lift a trophy this season.
Marcus Rashford is a good option in the squad, providing he is in form. That might have happened against West Ham United before the winter break but against Middlesbrough, he was not doing what he should have been, missing simples chances and taking too long to lay off the ball.
Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Phil Jones, Alex Telles, Aaron Wan-Bissaka; Fred, Nemanja Matic, Hannibal Mejbri; Edinson Cavani, Anthony Elanga
The substitutions against Middlesbrough did not make that big of an impact and that will need to be much different against Burnley, who have a big threat of their own in Wout Weghorst, who made his debut this weekend against Watford.
Dean Henderson will be back on the bench for this match with De Gea needed in goal to help United get the win they need in the Premier League. Phil Jones, Alex Telles and Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be available on the bench – Victor Lindelöf could make a return too after an illness.
Fred, Nemanja Matic and Hannibal Mejbri could be available in midfield with United needing options in the summer with the squad depth now much weaker. Youth could add to the ranks, which would be good to see. Edison Cavani and Anthony Elanga could both be available.
Written by John Walker