Louis van Gaal could call upon the services of Angel di Maria for the trip to Burnley as he bids to kick-start Manchester United’s season with a win.
As United have failed to win their first two games, points simply have to be accumulated quickly during a relatively straight forward run of fixtures before United face the big guns later in the season.
Victory at Turf Moor could be the spark which ignites United season but Saturday’s early kick-off is on a knife edge, with another game without a win potentially further eroding the confidence which was built up through pre-season.
Manchester United team news
Di Maria, signed from Real Madrid for a British record £59.7m this week, is likely to be chucked in at the deep end. United’s new No.7 and Champions League winner last season could be deployed out wide or in central midfield, where he has played previously in his career.
Doubts remain over the futures of Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley and the aforementioned quartet are unlikely to make the starting XI.
Tyler Blackett, Phil Jones and Darren Fletcher should return to the side after a rest in midweek while Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are likely to start higher up the pitch. Ander Herrera could also return but the game may come too soon for Chris Smalling and has done for Marcos Rojo who is still without a work permit.
Burnley team news
Like United, Burnley are yet to win a game this season so Sean Dyche’s men are also likely to be looking for a big victory to get their season up and running. With confidence low in the United camp, it might be the perfect time to host Van Gaal’s side.
Striker Sam Vokes, who formed a formidable partnership with Danny Ings last season, will be Burnley’s only absentee but Ings, Michael Duff and former United youth goalkeeper Tom Heaton will all be recalled after being rested from Capital One Cup action in midweek.
Burnley’s two previous games on their return to the top flight have ended in defeat this season, with a 3-1 loss against Chelsea and a 1-0 defeat to Swansea.
United have a brilliant record against Burnley having won five of their last six meetings against the Northern outfit.
However, in their last season in the Premier League back in 2009, Burnley did secure a shock 1-0 victory over United at Turf Moor when Robbie Blake scored a late winner. The return game saw United triumph 3-0 thanks to goals from Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Mame Biram Diouf.
Angel di Maria. Some have doubted the record fee United have shelled out on the 26-year-old Argnentinian but there is no doubting his ability. The former Benfica man guarantees goals and assists, and will inject much needed pace and key passes to United’s lineup.
Danny Ings. Ings finished last season as the Clarets top scorer and while he has not found yet found the net at a higher level, it is surely only a matter of time before the English youngster starts firing. Burnley’s star man will be key to his sides survival bid.
United should get their first victory of the season here against an organised, hard-working Burnley side whom are perhaps a little out of depth at this level. It certainly won’t be easy going for the Reds but their quality should come out on top.
Burnley 1-2 Manchester United