Match preview: Burnley v United

Manchester United's long awaited game in hand against Burnley – a match originally scheduled for the opening weekend of the Premier League season – will finally take place on Tuesday 12 January.

Following Liverpool's 1-0 defeat to Southampton, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men now have the opportunity to establish an outright lead at the top of the Premier League, ahead of Sunday's trip to Anfield.
 
The Reds will need to avoid defeat at Turf Moor to do that, but Sean Dyche's men are on a decent run of their own, having won three of their last four games at their east Lancashire home.
 
Thankfully, the Reds have been hugely impressive on the road in the league so far this season. Can we maintain our unbeaten record and continue to set the pace at the top of the table? Here's everything you need to know...

HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE GAME?

The match kicks off at 20:15 GMT and it will be broadcast live in the UK on Sky Sports. You can follow all the action on ManUtd.com and in our Official App, where you can also track in-game data using our Match Centre. MUTV will also provide build-up, live radio commentary and post-match reaction, as well as showing full reruns of the game the following day.

TEAM NEWS

United are likely to rotate once more, after naming a reconfigured line-up for Saturday’s FA Cup third-round clash with Watford at Old Trafford. The boss will also have one eye on Sunday’s trip down the East Lancs Road to face Liverpool, who are currently level on points with us at the top of the Premier League.

The manager does not expect Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw or Paul Pogba to be involved, although that depends on fitness tests for the injured trio.

But one man who will almost certainly be involved – barring injury or illness – is Edinson Cavani, who is now available for selection once more. The Watford cup tie was the final game in his three-match suspension.

FORM GUIDE

After a difficult start to the season, Burnley have hit form in the last month or so. Since a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the end of November, they’ve lost just one of their last six Premier League games – a controversial 1-0 defeat to Leeds United, in which the only goal came from a contentious penalty given to the Yorkshire club. Ashley Barnes then saw an equalising strike ruled out for a foul on Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier, when the young Whites stopper himself appeared to have clattered Burnley captain Ben Mee.

But that has been the only recent blip for Sean Dyche’s men, in a run that has included wins over Arsenal, Wolves and Sheffield United. They've not lost at Turf Moor since the end of October, when Chelsea secured a 3-0 victory in east Lancashire.

United, meanwhile, are in great Premier League form. Unbeaten since 1 November, Manchester City and Leicester City are the only two teams to have denied Solskjaer’s men victory. Our away form is also impressive, with six wins from seven.

Highlights: Burnley 0 United 2Video

PAST MEETINGS

United have lost just once at Turf Moor since 1968 – a 1-0 reverse in 2009, thanks to a Robbie Blake screamer. We’ve won on each of our last four visits, scoring seven times in total and keeping a clean sheet on every occasion. Anthony Martial, in particular, enjoys playing here: he has three goals in his last four appearances at Burnley. It’s at Old Trafford where Dyche’s men have caused us problems, gaining three draws and one win since 2015.

Last season, this fixture ended 2-0 to United. Martial opened the scoring after some good pressing and a neat pass from Andreas Pereira, before Marcus Rashford sprang onto Dan James’s pass in the dying moments to make the game safe. The match was notable for some resilient United defending – James, in particular, weathered plenty of aggression during the second period – and a couple of impressive David De Gea saves.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Burnley’s defence is almost always tough to break down, bar the odd off day such as the trip to the Etihad mentioned above. Ben Mee and James Tarkowski are an indomitable pair at the heart of the back line, while Nick Pope is part of the England set-up for a reason, having been consistently excellent for a lengthy period. Only Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Ederson (Manchester City) and Alex McCarthy (Southampton) have more clean sheets so far in 2020/21. Up front, Ashley Barnes remains a handful, with his intelligence and physical aggression.

Nick Pope, pictured here with Dean Henderson on international duty, has been in fine form for Burnley over an extended period.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistants: Simon Beck, Adrian Holmes
Fourth official: Peter Bankes
VAR: Stuart Attwell
Assistant VAR: Stephen Child.

RIVALS WATCH

TUESDAY 12 JANUARY

Sheffield United v Newcastle (18:00 GMT)
Burnley v UNITED (20:15 GMT)
Wolves v Everton (20:15 GMT)

WEDNESDAY 13 JANUARY

Manchester City v Brighton (18:00 GMT)
Aston Villa v Tottenham (20:15 GMT)

THURSDAY 14 JANUARY

Arsenal v Crystal Palace (20:00 GMT)

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