Coming off an emphatic win over Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United has created a comfortable position for themselves in the Premier League top-4 battle and looks to maintain their stronghold on the 2nd spot against a rugged Burnley side.
The Red Devils are now unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League games. However, Sean Dyche’s side can be a pain to deal with. With United struggling against deep defensive lines all season long, they have to pull something off something special to record another convincing win & take one step closer to assuring Champions League qualification.
Manchester United Likely XI
Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Pogba, Greenwood, Bruno, James, Cavani
Eric Bailly & Anthony Martial are still unavailable, while Marcus Rashford’s also a doubt.
Burnley Likely XI
Pope, Lowton, Mee, Tarkowski, Pieters, Gudmundsson, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil, Wood, Vydra
Burnley will be without Robbie Brady & Kevin Long, while Ashley Barnes is unlikely to recover.
Manchester United vs Burnley preview
Man United are enjoying a pretty good 2021, only losing 2 games (in all competitions) and looking the most stable team (behind Man City) in the Premier League top-4. However, consistency is key if they want to finish the season strongly & teams like Burnley are those who love to break a winning run.
They might not be a good team to watch (or in good form) but nobody really fancies facing Burnley. They’re such an old-school, bullish unit who play 20th-century soccer & just grind their way into results. Safe to say, United must operate at their best to break down this stubborn unit.
Bruno Fernandes needs to score in games like these if he wants to stay in the Golden Boot race. With Paul Pogba now creating a bulk of chances, he’ll be looking to move into key scoring areas & getting more shots on target to get his strikes. Edinson Cavani’s now roaring like a tiger after an emphatic display against Spurs.
A fighter like him thrives playing against a physical side like Burnley, as he’ll look to use his clinical instincts & link-up play to stitch together good things. Mason Greenwood should also look to get as central as possible to get his bombastic shots on target, while Dan James will make use of his blistering pace to create chances.
Pogba is playing with a real swagger these days and after scoring the winner in the last clash against Burnley, he’ll be looking to make good use of his technical ability & physicality to bully the visitors. Scott McTominay partners alongside the Frenchman, using his own strengths to counter against Burnley’s hoofball style.
The Clarets might be horrible to watch, but they possess the strengths that are United’s biggest vulnerability. With the likes of Dwight McNeil & Johann Gudmundsson having expert crossing ability as well as strikers Chris Wood & Matt Vydra being clinical finishers, Burnley can shock United by scoring unpredictable goals if allowed to.
Harry Maguire’s arguably got the best header in the PL, so he must make good use of that by clearing everything while his fellow defenders support him with strong defending. Dean Henderson must put his cross collection & shot-stopping ability to good use to keep another clean sheet.
Expect Burnley to park the bus & United dominating all the possession. If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side wants to grind out a win here, they’ll have to operate at a quick pace, diversify their attacks & take full advantage of the chances they get.
Burnley won’t make it easy, but I think United has enough quality & momentum to grind out a 2-1 win.