Preview: United have the strength to beat Burnley, who will have the will to beat United; Ten Hag will be ready for this

Reaching the last eight of the Carabao Cup is much needed for this United team

Manchester United -v- Burnley

Carabao Cup

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 21 December 2022, KO 20:00 GMT

Manchester United will go head to head with Championship side Burnley in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. It will be United’s first competitive match since the season was placed on hiatus for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar which was won by Argentina, beating France 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw after extra time. United will be without a number of star players for this match with Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane definite absences.

United beat Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage in their last competitive match back in November with Alejandro Garnacho scoring the winner in added time which before that seemed destined to see United suffer a draw. However, the goal from the Spanish-born Argentinian saw United grab all three points and keep their assault on the top four of the Premier League this season. United and Burnley faced each other regularly before the Lancashire clubs relegation to the Championship.

This season, Burnley have been doing well in their bid to regain top-flight status with promotion to the Premier League, winning their last four matches in all competitions following the 5-2 defeat to Sheffield United. Burnley sit at the top of the Championship, three points clear of Sheffield United who beat Wigan Athletic 2-1 on Monday evening as they seek to regain Premier League status this season, still sitting in second-place in the Championship.

Manchester United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Fulham 2-1 W, Aston Villa 4-2 W, Aston Villa 3-1 L, Real Sociedad 1-0 W, West Ham United 1-0 W, Sheriff Tiraspol 3-0 W

Goals: 8 – Marcus Rashford, 4 – Anthony Martial, 3 – Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, 2 – Alejandro Garnacho, Own Goal, Scott McTominay, 1 – Casemiro, Diogo Dalot, Christian Eriksen, Fred

Assists: 6 – Christian Eriksen, 3 – Marcus Rashford, 2 – Bruno Fernandes, Alejandro Garnacho, Anthony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luke Shaw, 1 – Casemiro, Diogo Dalot, Anthony Elanga, Jadon Sancho

Burnley – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Middlesbrough 3-1 W, Queens Park Rangers 3-0 W, Blackburn Rovers 3-0 W, Crawley Town 3-1 W, Sheffield United 5-2 L, Rotherham United 3-2 W

Goals: 9 – Jay Rodríguez, 7 – Benson Manuel, Nathan Tella, 6 – Anass Zaroury, 5 – Josh Brownhill, 3 – Ashley Barnes, 2 – Samuel Bastien, Jóhann Guðmundsson, Ian Maatsen, Vitinho, 1 – Halil Dervisoglu, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Connor Roberts

Assists: 5 – Josh Brownhill, 4 – Ian Maatsen, Benson Manuel, 3 – Ashley Barnes, Josh Cullen, 2 – Jóhann Guðmundsson, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Connor Roberts, Vitinho, Anass Zaroury, 1 – Samuel Bastien, Jordan Beyer, Jack Cork, Jay Rodríguez, Charlie Taylor, Nathan Tella

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and Burnley have met eight times in the Carabao Cup/English Football League Cup. United have won six times, drawing twice with both draws leading to replays which United went on to win. United have scored 15 goals with Burnley scoring three goals. United last faced Burnley in this competition back in 2002. Burnley may have never beaten United in the League Cup but there will always be a first time for that. Erik ten Hag will be seeking for another victory though.

That said, United and Burnley have met a total of 134 times in all competitions in the history of both clubs. United have won 65 times, drawn 24 times and lost 45 times. United will be seeking to make it into the last eight of the Carabao Cup this season, exiting at the third round last season. United have so far beaten Aston Villa in the competition with the Old Trafford club not winning a trophy since Jose Mourinho’s time as the manager of the club – over five years ago.

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 have all played for both United and Burnley during their careers. Cole, Morgan and Phelan are perhaps the better-known players in this list, although each of them will be known for their times playing for both of these clubs and more. There is some good history here.

Team News

Axel Tuanzebe is the only player that is out of action for this match despite returning to training from his latest long-term injury. Diogo Dalot is a doubt after coming back from the FIFA World Cup with a thigh injury. It is unlikely that Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane will be involved for a while after the World Cup final on Sunday and the participation of Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes may be too soon following their respective exits from the World Cup.

During the mid-season training camp in Spain both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Brandon Williams made returns for United from injury, so they could both feature against Burnley in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. Jadon Sancho is unlikely to feature for the foreseeable future. Alejandro Garnacho seems likely to start in this match though, which would be great for his development. Martin Dubravka could start in goal for United, leaving David De Gea to get ready for Nottingham Forest.

Burnley could be missing Ashley Westwood through injury. Anass Zaroury could also be absent from the squad. The Lancashire club have been in good form recently, winning their last four matches following the 5-2 defeat to Sheffield United. Vincent Kompany’s side will have a dream of knocking United out of the Carabao Cup this season, earning a place in the last eight of the competition this season. This could well be a tough match for United, who could be lacking a number of their star players.

Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

Dubravka;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

McTominay, Eriksen;

Antony, van de Beek, Garnacho;

Martial

Predicted Burnley Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

Muric;

Vitinho, Harwood-Bellis, Beyer, Maatsen;

Cullen, Cork;

Benson, Brownhill, Guðmundsson;

Rodríguez

Match Prediction

United put some good form together prior to the FIFA World Cup, despite the defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League, they looked like a team that was able to take on their opposition and beat them. Now that Cristiano Ronaldo has left, even though it leaves the club with one fewer attacking player, they will be able to play with a high intensity and keep the pressure on their opposition. Whether that works all the time remains to be seen though.

Erik ten Hag will demand the best he can get from this team and his start to his tenure at United has been largely positive. The Christmas period may not be normal this year because of the World Cup in Qatar and the season will drag on slightly longer than usual, but it has been positive for United as they will not be missing a large number of players because of the competition. In a week or so, the majority of the squad will be back together and ready to continue the season.

United will need to get to the top of their game against Burnley as they will be fired up to get a victory at Old Trafford this season, continuing their participation in the Carabao Cup and the bragging rights of beating United despite being in the Championship. It has been suggested that a number of big names could be missing from this match but the next 48 hours or so will tell us more as to what kind of strength Ten Hag has in his United squad ahead of this match. United should be winning this match though.

Manchester United 2-1 Burnley

Written by John Walker

Avatar photo
About John Walker 1875 Articles
I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.