Manchester United play host to Burnley tonight for a Premier League game under the floodlights at Old Trafford.
On the back of a disappointing draw against the Hammers, Louis van Gaal will be keen to get his side back to winning ways. With Arsenal currently leapfrogging Man United into fourth place, anything less than three points tomorrow could pose a lot of questions to United’s top four credentials.
On the bright side, United have been terrific at home this season. It remains one of the hardest places to come and get a result and kudos to van Gaal for re-establishing the much-needed dominance at Old Trafford that was lost last season under David Moyes.
Burnley have struggled in the top flight and find themselves languishing in 19th place, fighting in a relegation battle. They gave up a two-goal lead to draw against West Bromwich Albion in their previous Premier League fixture but lost three successive games before against Spurs, Crystal Palace and Sunderland. Sean Dyche needs to find some encouraging words to get the morals in the Burnley camp up again and he needs to find them quick, with only 13 games left after tomorrow.
Luke Shaw will be out of the match-day squad following his red card against West Ham. Michael Carrick will also be unavailable as he continues his recovery from a calf injury. Ashley Young played for the U21s squad and got some much needed match fitness after his return from injury. He could be available to start against Burnley.
Burnley have four players injured in Matt Taylor (calf), Dean Marney, (knee), Kevin Long (knee), and Stephen Ward who was suffering from an ankle injury has returned to light training.
Steven Reid, Michael Kightly and Sam Vokes are back fit again and pushing for the starting places, which isn’t too bad a position to be in for the Burnley manager.
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With a commendable home record and a strong defence, 5-1 odds on a 2-0 victory is our little nest egg for the Burnley game.
Angel di Maria made his Premier League debut against Burnley and he will be looking forward to facing them again. He remains Man United’s biggest direct threat in terms of creating goal-scoring opportunities.
Wayne Rooney has struggled to fit into the midfield role and there is a growing belief that he needs to be played up front ahead of either Robin Van Persie or Radamel Falcao.
Michael Keane will return to Old Trafford to face his former club and he will have a huge role to play along with Shackell in defence in keeping Di Maria and co. quiet.
Danny Ings is a decent forward but seeing how much possession United keep. There will be times when he is going to be very isolated. He is going to need good service from the likes of George Boyd and Ashley Barnes if Burnley are hoping to get any sort of a result against United.
United are the second best team in the league in terms of home record and Burnley haven’t found it easy on their travels this season.
Manchester United 3-0 Burnley