Manchester United vs Burnley
Venue: Old Trafford
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rejuvenated Manchester United welcome Burnley to Old Trafford as they look to go nine games unbeaten in all competitions.
United’s turnaround in form has been remarkable since Jose Mourinho departed the club. They seem to be playing with the desire and attacking intent which for so long was synonymous with Manchester United. It is almost at the point where United’s progress cannot just be shrugged off solely due to the fact that Mourinho is no longer at the club.
Solskjær must be given credit for what he has done tactically and off the pitch too. The likes of Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku look keen to play again and are putting in the performances to prove it and Marcus Rashford has become an impeccable example of a Manchester United striker. Whilst Solskjær and United may have had a favourable run of fixtures since Solskjær took over they are getting the business done and look like they may even be in contention for the top four whilst also having a place in the FA Cup fifth round where they will face Chelsea.
Burnley themselves are on a fine run of form and their trip to Old Trafford will be no means be an easy win for the hosts. They are unbeaten in their last four league matches and have recorded three wins in this period – continuingly showing signs of their impressive campaign from last season. This run has seen them climb three points above the drop zone and talks of relegation have been slowly brushed away. Saying this, they are not out of danger yet and will need to put together another run of form to ensure their Premier League survival.
Burnley were thumped 5-0 by Manchester City in the FA Cup over the weekend and whilst this result is not a good one Sean Dyche will probably be more than happy to focus his attention on staying in the league.
Manchester United are still without Marouane Fellaini and Marcos Rojo who remain sidelined with injury. Chris Smalling has not featured since 8th December due to a foot injury but is available for this game.
Burnley rested seven first-team players for their FA Cup defeat to Manchester City who would all expect to return to the starting line-up. Robbie Brady came off injured in that match and is not likely to feature. Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Phil Bardsley are awaiting fitness tests but could be in contention to play.
Predicted Starting XIs
Manchester United (4-3-3): De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Lingard, Rashford, Martial
Burnley (4-4-2): Heaton; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Wood, Barnes
Score Prediction: Manchester United 2 Burnley 0
United’s run of form doesn’t look to be ending any time soon and they should dispatch Burnley without too much difficulty. Yet the Claret’s defence has been improving of late (despite Saturday’s thumping) and they will be confident heading to Manchester that they can cause an upset.
They need to get points on the board to ensure their survival and anything gained here will be a welcome bonus.
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