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Preview: Burnley -v- Manchester United – Premier League – A win will take United top of the league

Burnley -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Turf Moor, Burnley

Tuesday 12 January 2021, KO 20:15 GMT

Referee: Kevin Friend  Assistants: Simon Beck, Adrian Holmes

Fourth Official: Peter Bankes

VAR: Stuart Attwell Assistant VAR: Stephen Child

Manchester United will face Burnley at Turf Moor in the Premier League on Tuesday evening, the match that was originally supposed to start the season with United and Manchester City both having a further week to recover after participation in European competition from last season, which was delayed because of the coronavirus lockdown. This match could result in United rising to the top of the Premier League just days before taking on Liverpool for the first time this season – providing they beat Burnley, of course. This would show that there has been lots of improvement at United this season – who’d have thought that!

There seems to be a lot of hostility on social media from the supposed supporters of the club that seem to think United are moving forward in spite of, not because of Solskjaer, which just shows the pathetic nature of these supporters whose agenda seems to be as deep as some in the political world right now. That said, those who back the process and support the manager and all of the players representing the club, will rightly so bask in the improvement which has seen United start to challenge in the Premier League once again, no matter how long it continues – it is the closest United have come in seven years to competing.

Manchester United: WLWWDW

Watford 1-0 W, Manchester City 2-0 L, Aston Villa 2-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Leicester City 2-2 D, Everton 2-0 W

Burnley: WWLWDW

MK Dons 1-1 (4-3) W, Sheffield United 1-0 W, Leeds United 1-0 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 W, Aston Villa 0-0 D, Arsenal 1-0 W

Top Scorers: Burnley have scored 12 goals in all competitions this season with Bruno Fernandes scoring 15 for United on his own. This says nothing as this match with be one of Burnley’s cup finals and many will expect them to play like peak Barcelona on a cold Tuesday night in Burnley.

Manchester United Goals: 15 – Bruno Fernandes, 14 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Anthony Martial, 4 – Edinson Cavani, Scott McTominay, 3 – Mason Greenwood, 2 – Daniel James, Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Own Goal, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

United are doing well so far this season, despite being knocked out of the Carabao Cup in the semi-final at the hands of Manchester City. To be fair though, this is the trophy that City seem to like the most, leaving the bigger honours for the bigger clubs in both England and Europe. This clash with Burnley, should United win, will see them top the Premier League for the first time this season despite starting the season in bad form and seeing lost of criticism from those who know best, allegedly – the pundits and the ABU’s. Nothing will hurt them more than United going top of the Premier League before facing Liverpool for the first time this season.

Burnley Goals: 3 – Matej Vydra, Chris Wood, 1 – Ashley Barnes, Robbie Brady, Josh Brownhill, Jimmy Dunne, Ben Mee, Ashley Westwood

Burnley have not been in great form this season and currently sit in 16th place in the Premier League, just five points from the relegation zone. In the past, Burnley have been a club that has frustrated United, especially at Turf Moor. However, United have a much better squad at this moment in time with many players giving their all for the team. Burnley will need to win this match in order to propel themselves away from the relegation zone in the league, which could well be their fate this season. if things do not improve. Its is possible that they become prime Barcelona in this match, as is the case in their cup final against United.

Team News: Three players ruled out for United, two with a good chance and two with a 50/50 chance; Burnley has two players with a good chance of featuring with four players having a 50/50 chance.

Phil Jones (knee), Facundo Pellistri (coronavirus) and Marcos Rojo (calf) have been ruled out of the clash with Burnley on Tuesday evening. Luke Shaw (other) and Victor Lindelof (lower back) have a 75% chance of featuring against Burnley, whilst Paul Pogba (other) and Eric Bailly (upper back/neck) both have a 50% chance of being available. Edinson Cavani has served all three matches of his suspension, so will be eligible to face Burnley, which seems likely as he will need to build his match fitness ahead of the clash with Liverpool at the weekend, which could be another thriller of a clash between the two rivals.

Nick Pope (ankle) and Charlie Taylor (thigh) both have a 75% chance of featuring against United on Tuesday evening in the Premier League. Kevin Long (ankle), Jimmy Dunne (knock), Jay Rodriguez (knee) and Dwight McNeil (groin/hip/pelvis) all have a 50% chance of being available to face United. Burnley will be seeking to keep performing well against United and in the past have been a team able to stop the might of the club and frustrate them. This season though, those performances have been few and far between with them sitting five points above the relegation zone in the Premier League.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood to start against Burnley?

Solskjaer rested a number of players against Watford in the Emirates FA Cup at the weekend, which was a 1-0 victory for the Old Trafford club. United could have rested until Sunday when they face Liverpool at Old Trafford but decided to play their game in hand against Burnley, putting some pressure on Liverpool for the fixture as United are level on points with goal difference separating the two sides. Edinson Cavani has served his three-match suspension, so could lead the line, giving Anthony Martial a rest ahead of Sunday. Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood could support the Uruguayan in attack.

Match Prediction: 12 matches played with United winning half of them and undefeated in ten of the matches played. United won and lost in the two matches last season and will be seeking for better results this season, both home and away.

United and Burnley have played 12 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won six of the meetings, drawing four and losing twice. United have scored a total of 17 goals, winning four penalties and scoring two of them. Burnley have scored eight goals, winning no penalties. United have kept seven cleans sheets with Burnley keeping just four. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 22 yellow cards with two red cards being shown. Burnley have been shown 33 yellow cards with no red cards. This is an important match for United, who could sit at the top of the league before they face Liverpool next weekend.

Last season, in this encounter at Turf Moor, played on the 28 December 2019, United won 2-0 with Anthony Martial opening the scoring in the 44th minute, assisted by Andreas Pereira and with Marcus Rashford securing the victory in the 90+5th minute, assisted by Daniel James. United will be seeking for a similar result against Burnley this season, which will help them pile the pressure on Liverpool ahead of their clash next weekend. At Old Trafford, a match played on the 22 January 2020, it was a 2-0 victory for Burnley with Chris Wood opening the scoring in the 39th minute and Jay Rodriquez securing the victory in the 56th minute.

Burnley 0-0 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW

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