Burnley vs Manchester United
K/O: 15:00 hours
Venue: Turf Moor
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Jose Mourinho takes his Manchester United side to Turf Moor this Sunday under intense pressure after a turbulent week for the Portuguese manager; who suffered his second defeat of the campaign at the hands of Tottenham on Monday night. Sean Dyche’s fortunes are very similar with the Clarets winless in the Premier League and out of the Europa League after a qualification round defeat against Olympiacos, in which Mourinho was present.
Manchester United have now not won since the opening day of the season and after their 3-0 drubbing by Tottenham, Mourinho stormed out the press conference amid shouts of ‘respect’ and pointed reminders of how many Premier League titles he has under his prestigious belt. The Red Devils are in disarray at the moment and the only ointment to that particular wound would be a win this weekend.
If United were to lose on Sunday, then the Manchester hierarchy may decide that enough is enough with Mourinho and start their search for a new manager despite the Portuguese national gaining numerous backing from the clubs board.
As mentioned, Burnley also come into this game under duress. They have had a troubling start to the season and are still without a win in the league. It appears that the additional pressure of playing Europa League football is taking its toll on Sean Dyche and his squad. There will be some solace in the fact that after failing to beat Olympiakos in the week their Europa League journey is at end. However, that does not mean that the legs will be fresh for the visit of United.
Sean Dyches’s men find themselves in the relegation zone for the first time since 2016 and will be desperate to get three points on the board to kick start their campaign.
Mourinho made six changes for the game against Spurs so it is anyone’s guess as to what XI he will field. Phil Jones came off injured in that game so there is a chance that previously dropped Eric Bailly or Victor Lindelof could be reinstated at centre back. Marcos Rojo, Sergio Romero and Diego Dalot all remain unavailable for United.
As for Burnley, they will be without Steven Defour, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and long-term absentee Nick Pope. After their Europa League commitments during the week they maybe expected to ring the changes for the visit of Mourinho’s United yet with a win being crucial to get their campaign rolling, Dyche may be forced to field his strongest XI to test a uninspiring United side.
Predicted Starting XI’s:
Burnley: Hart; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward; Lennon, Cork, Westwood, Taylor; Hendrick, Wood
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Shaw; Matic, Pogba, Fred; Lingard, Lukaku, Sanchez
Score Prediction: Burnley 0 Manchester United 2
Despite the week they have endured I can see United bouncing back against tired opposition like Burnley. A victory here will not make all better though, there is serious long-term work which needs doing at Manchester United. A loss for Burnley will most probably see them at the bottom of the table. Dyche needs to get his squad up and firing again or he may be in for a long and painful season.