Manchester United vs Burnley: Preview, team news, facts, predicted line-ups and prediction
Manchester United were 11 points adrift from the fourth place when Jose Mourinho was sacked in December after losing to Liverpool. However, the Red Devils have turned their season around since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as the caretaker manager.
The former Old Trafford cult hero has overseen six successive Premier League wins, and United are now within touching distance of Chelsea who occupy the final champions league qualification spot. A win over 16th placed Burnley will move United level on points with Maurizio Sarri’s side temporarily at least for 24 hours.
Opponents Burnley seem to have turned a corner of late as well. The Clarets are on a five-match unbeaten run including four wins and a draw to move them out of the bottom for three.
Their draw at Watford last time out saw Sean Dyche’s men register their third clean sheet away from home this season. They will be heading to Old Trafford in high spirits having avoided defeat in the last two seasons in the league against Manchester United.
Manchester United will have Chris Smalling back from foot injury. The England centre back had been out of action since 8th December.
David De Gea is expected to return to the first team after being rested on Friday’s FA Cup win over Arsenal.
Alexis Sanchez is almost certain to start after an impressive showing against his former club on Friday.
Marcos Rojo and Marouane Fellaini are out.
Burnley will make a late decision on whether to involve Robbie Brady after the Irishman was forced off with a groin injury in the FA Cup defeat to Manchester City.
The Clarets made seven changes in that humiliating loss to United’s cross-town rivals in the FA Cup, so they are likely to recall a number of their first team players who missed the encounter at the Etihad.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could become the first manager in Premier League history to win his first seven Premier League matches on the trot. He is currently tied with Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti on six successive wins.
Manchester United have been awarded seven premier league penalties this season, which is the highest of any team, while Burnley are one of two teams (along with Huddersfield) yet to be awarded a spot-kick this season.
Manchester United: De Gea, Young, Jones, Lindelof, Shaw, Herrera, Matic, Pogba, Lukaku, Sanchez, Rashford.
Burnley: Heaton, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Westwood, Cork, Hendrick, McNeill, Barnes, Wood.
Prediction: It is hard to go against Manchester United with the form they are in at the moment. Burnley look like a rejuvenated team after going five-match undefeated, but they will be playing a side with renewed confidence.
The Red Devils have put themselves within touching distance of fourth place and a win here will move them level on points with Chelsea, something which was entirely out of reach just a month ago.
Manchester United 2-0 Burnley