Preview: United need to avenge Liverpool defeat by beating Burnley; utilising open transfer market to strengthen the ailing squad

Manchester United -v- Burnley

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 22 January 2020, KO 20:15 GMT

Referee: Jonathan Moss Assistants: Marc Perry, Eddie Smart Fourth Official: Martin Atkinson 

VAR: Graham Scott Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday

Manchester United face Burnley in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening in a bid to get back to winning ways after a 2-0 defeat to league leaders Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday afternoon. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side beat Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor at the end of December, finishing the month in style but a tough January has seen them win just twice so far in 2020.

United have lost many players to injury at different stages this season, which is all part of the game but it has left the team in a position whereby they have no creativity and no ability to drive forwards, which can only be attributed to the ownership of the Glazers and Ed Woodward’s incompetence at running a football club with only a business brain. United will need to delve into the transfer market to find solutions.

Failure to do this will result in the club finding themselves in a position whereby their season will be over inside the next six weeks as they could well be out of the Carabao Cup, if they do not find a way to come back from a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in nine days time. Next weekend, they will be back in action in the Emirates FA Cup, returning to UEFA Europa League action next month. Things need to change and quickly.

Form: United’s form in 2020 has gone from bad to worse with two wins in six matches losing to Arsenal, Manchester City and now Liverpool; Burnley have the same number of wins, losing the other four matches.

Manchester United: LWWLDL

Liverpool 2-0 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Norwich City 4-0 W, Manchester City 3-1 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 D, Arsenal 2-0 L

Burnley: WLWLLL

Leicester City 2-1 W, Chelsea 3-0 L, Peterborough United 4-2 W, Aston Villa 2-1 L, Manchester United 2-0 L, Everton 1-0 L

Top Scorers: Rashford out for foreseeable future so Martial and Greenwood will need to take the slack from Burnley and beyond.

Manchester United Goals: 19 – Marcus Rashford, 11 – Anthony Martial, 9 – Mason Greenwood, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 2 – Own Goal, Juan Mata, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United’s players need to have a long hard look at themselves in the mirror. The last six matches, all played in 2020 have been dire for different reasons. The best result was the 4-0 victory over Norwich City which was the club’s first victory this year. A 1-0 win over Wolves in the FA Cup made things better but two steps forward stopped with a defeat to Liverpool in a game which could have been so much better.

Burnley Goals: 9 – Chris Wood, 6 – Ashley Barnes, Jay Rodriguez, 3 – Jeff Hendrick, 1 – Robbie Brady, Jóhann Gudmundsson, Dwight McNeil, Erik Pieters, James Tarkowski, Ashley Westwood

Burnley are in a similar predicament to United this year, playing six matches, losing four of them and winning twice. United are slightly better as they have only lost three times, drawing once and winning twice. The two teams met between Christmas and New Year at Turf Moor with United winning that match 2-0. Burnley will be looking to continue their form after beating Leicester City on Sunday, taking advantage of United.

Team News: United’s injury list sees Rashford, Pogba, McTominay, Tuanzebe and Rojo on the sidelines with Fosu-Mensah still working towards achieving match fitness.

United look set to be without top scorer Marcus Rashford for the next few months after suffering a stress fracture in his back, which he made worse against Wolves last week. Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe and Marcos Rojo remain on the sidelines, most facing another month out of action. Tim Fosu-Mensah is currently getting himself match fit ready to return to action as soon as he is ready.

United need to bring in some new faces whilst they still can. Failing to to just that could see them fall short of the target they need to meet this season – finishing inside the top four. Burnley have just two players on the sidelines through injury; Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Ashley Barnes – both of whom seem to be ruled out of the visit to the Theatre of Dreams on Wednesday evening.

Predicted Starting XI: 4-3-3 against Burnley with James, Martial, and Greenwood leading the attack and Mata using his footballing brain pulling the strings behind them?

Solskjaer will need to make changes to his team or face other players being added to the injury list, which is something the club cannot afford at this moment in time. Aaron Wan-Bissaka looks tired, or at least did against Liverpool. Now that Diogo Dalot is back in action, he could start at right-back with Ashley Young out of the picture. Eric Bailly should start ahead of Victor Lindelof with the formation changing to 4-3-3.

Match Prediction: United undefeated against Burnley in the last ten matches; winning six and drawing four. Burnley have not beaten United in over ten years with their last win at Old Trafford coming in 1962.

United and Burnley have played a total of 129 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1892. United have won 62 times, drawn 23 times and lost 44 times. The last defeat to Burnley came in the Premier League back in August 2009, a 1-0 defeat at the Turf Moor with Robbie Blake scoring the only goal of the game in the 19th minute of the match. Since that defeat, the two teams have faced each other ten times – all in the Premier League.

Of those ten matches, United are undefeated; winning six times and drawing four times. The Red Devils scored a total of 17 goals, conceding five goals – keeping five clean sheets. Last season in this fixture it was a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford with United beating Burnley at Turf Moor, as they did this season. The last match, a 2-0 United victory at Turf Moor, saw Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford on the scoresheet.

Manchester United 1-0 Burnley

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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.