James Tarkowski playing for Burnley.

Burnley v United: Opposition preview

Manchester United travel to Burnley for our next Premier League fixture, which takes place on Saturday 28 December.

Sean Dyche’s men have had something of an inconsistent season, with the Clarets picking up 24 points from the first 19 games of the campaign, leaving them in 12th place at the halfway mark.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping Burnley don’t increase that tally when they begin the second half of their season by hosting United at Turf Moor, just over 48 hours after both sides were in action on Boxing Day.

Ahead of the festive fixture, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about Saturday’s opponents.

TEAM NEWS

Jeff Hendrick could return for the Clarets this weekend. The Irishman missed his side’s midweek defeat to Everton through suspension, but is eligible to play against United. Matej Vydra was also absent on Boxing Day due to his partner recently giving birth, but he could be back in time for Saturday. However, there is less positive news for Aaron Lennon, who Dyche confirmed is suffering from illness, while Ben Gibson is also unlikely to be fit in time for the visit of the Reds.

Burnley v United: Ole's press conferenceVideo

FORM GUIDE

It’s been a real mixed bag for Burnley this campaign and the Lancashire outfit have struggled for form during much of the season. The Clarets have tended to win a few, then lose a few, so far in 2019/20 and the last eight games have seen an even split of wins and defeats. The one constant with Burnley’s performances is they don’t deal in draws  in fact, Dyche’s men haven’t shared the points once in their last 12 outings. On Boxing Day, Saturday’s hosts fell to a 1-0 loss to Everton, though they did beat Bournemouth prior to that. Burnley won 1-0 against Newcastle in their most recent game at Turf Moor, and all of the Clarets’ last three matches have finished with that scoreline.
HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD

The Reds lost our first Premier League encounter with Burnley in 2009, but since then we’re unbeaten in nine against our north-west rivals. United have also won on the last three trips to Turf Moor, and haven’t conceded in our four previous games at the Lancashire ground. Last year, a Romelu Lukaku brace downed the Clarets in a 2-0 victory, while the season before Anthony Martial grabbed the only goal of the game. Overall, we’ve played Saturday’s opponents 128 times throughout our history and won 61, drawn 23 and lost 44 of those encounters.
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Nemanja Matic playing for Manchester United against Burnley in 2018/19.
United ran out as convincing winners in this fixture last season.
THE MANAGER

Sean Dyche recently celebrated seven years in charge of Burnley and he is the third-longest-serving manager in English football. During his time in charge at Turf Moor, the 48-year-old has twice guided the Clarets to promotion from the Championship, while also establishing Burnley as a Premier League regular. Now in his fourth consecutive year managing in the top flight, Dyche will be looking to remedy his indifferent record against United. In eight previous meetings with the Reds, he has failed to ever come away with all three points.
Sean Dyche and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shakes hands ahead of a Premier League match last season.
Dyche has lost four and drawn four of his eight matches against the Reds.
FAMILIAR FACES

United will come up against three of our former Academy players during Saturday’s clash. On-loan midfielder Danny Drinkwater came thorough our youth ranks but never actually played a first-team game for the club. He has since, of course, gone on to become a Premier League title-winner with Leicester City. Former Red Robbie Brady is also in the Burnley squad. The Irish winger made one solitary appearance for United, while his Clarets team-mate Phil Bardsley played 18 times for the Reds between 2003-2008.
Robbie Brady and Danny Drinkwater.
Former Reds Brady and Drinkwater.
KEY MAN

Manchester-born defender James Tarkowski has been one of the Clarets most reliable stars this season. The centre-back hasn’t missed a single minute of football during the first half of the Premier League campaign and has chipped in with one goal so far. However, it’s at the other end of the pitch where Tarkowski excels, due to his well-timed tackles, aerial ability and leadership qualities. The 27-year-old has earned two England caps to date and was last included in the Three Lions squad in March.

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