BUR vs MUN: Exciting times ahead at the Old Trafford as the 20-time league winners are almost closing in on signing Alexis Sanchez. Just to let you know the magnitude of this signing; United will have two world-class midfielders in their ranks. Manchester United played like a team possessed in their last fixture. A 3-0 win against Stoke City might not sound substantial but the quality up for display was overwhelming. Paul Pogba was once again the orchestrator and the French midfielder verified yet again why he’s considered one of the best in the sport. United are 12 points away from league leaders Manchester City but with Sanchez’s move almost absolute it wouldn’t seem startling if they challenge City to the title.
Sean Dyche has managed the Burnley squad to a nicety and the pugnacious unit never shows signs of giving up. Burnley are 7th on the league table and in the reverse fixture, they managed to secure a point. At Turf Moor against a rampant Manchester United, can Burnley defend as well as they have throughout the season? The Clarets have conceded only 20 goals this term. The 4th lowest in the league. However, they’ve only scored 19 goals in the 23 games completed. Against a top club, if three points have to be gained, the defence and the attack have to work in tandem.
Reverse Fixture at Old Trafford: 2-2
STATS- BUR vs MUN:
- Burnley have won only one out of the 24 matches they’ve played against United. The Only win(1-0) coming in the year 2009. They’ve lost 13 and drawn 10.
- 22 years ago today (20th Jan), Manchester United were 12 points behind league leaders Newcastle after both sides had played 23 games, before going on to win the league in May. They are 12 points behind leaders Manchester City after 23 Premier League games.
- This will be Sean Dyche’s 100th Premier League game in charge – the last three managers whose 100th game in the competition came against Manchester United won their games. Mick McCarthy with Wolves in February 2011, Roy Hodgson with Fulham in March 2009 and Steve McClaren with Middlesbrough in February 2004.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR- BUR vs MUN:
JAMES TARKOWSKI(BURNLEY): The English centre-back along with Ben Mee has been pivotal to Burnley’s glorious season. Tarkowski has played 1800 minutes of football this season and has conceded only 15. He’s been Burnley’s player of the season and by a distance. Against United, Tarkowski will have to keep the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba at bay. He’ll be Burnley’s player to watch out for.
2017/18 season: Minutes played: 1800, Blocks: 33(3rd in the league), Clearances: 152(4th highest), Head Clearances: 97(3rd in the league)
PAUL POGBA(MANCHESTER UNITED): At £89.3 million Paul Pogba’s transfer seemed dicy but his form on the pitch; dribbling past players, delivering delicious passes, making and scoring goals, has now deemed the amount a bargain. Pogba has started 13 games this season and hasn’t lost yet. More importantly, he’s unbeaten in his last 35 Premier League games. Gabriel Jesus is next on the list with 28 games. United have lost 3 games this season to City, Huddersfield and Chelsea. Pogba didn’t feature in any of the games(injury/suspension). If he starts, United win. That’s been the pattern and if the mesmeric midfielder goes berserk, Burnley will have their backs against the wall very early in the game.
2017/18 season: Minutes played: 1132, Assists: 9, Goals: 3.
EXPECTED PLAYING XI- BUR vs MUN:
Burnley: Nick Pope(gk), James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Phil Bardsley, Charlie Taylor, Johan Gudmundsson, Jack Cork, Steven Defour, Scott Arfield/Georges Kevin-Nkoudou, Jeff Hendrick, Ashley Barnes.
Manchester United: David de Gea(gk), Luke Shaw/Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku.
TEAM NEWS- BUR vs MUN: For United, Ashley Young is back from suspension and might immediately take the left-back position. Luke Shaw has been up to the task in Young’s absence but Young is a certainty if fit. That might be the only change United will make after the 3-0 victory against Stoke. Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s move to Arsenal hasn’t validated yet and his inclusion in the team isn’t assured.
Injured: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly.
For Burnley, Georges Kevin-Nkoudou might push for a Burnley debut. The Tottenham winger who’s at Burnley on loan will add pace to the Burnley attack.
Injured: Robbie Brady, Chris Wood, Stephen Ward, Jonathan Walters.
Expected to be available: Charlie Taylor and Scott Arfield.
WHO WILL WIN?: After a stunning performance against Stoke City and with Sanchez’s deal almost done the United camp must be cock-a-hoop and the players are assured to be bustling with confidence. Burnley have a stern defence but against United, their defiant defence is bound to be tested. United have got the right blend of attack and resistance and are favourites to win this fixture.
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