How to follow United v Burnley
Manchester United wrap up 2021 at Old Trafford as Ralf Rangnick looks to improve upon Monday night’s draw at Newcastle United.
Burnley are the visitors for our final game of the year, the Clarets having been out of action for some time due to fixture postponements.
As we play our second match in quick succession, you might not have caught up on everything you need to know. So here it is...
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE MATCH?
The game at Old Trafford kicks off at 20:15 GMT on Thursday 30 December and will be broadcast live on Amazon Prime in the UK. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can sign up to Amazon Prime now using this link.
MUTV's coverage will begin when Matchday Live goes on air at 19:10 GMT - the show will include pre-match build-up, live match radio commentary and post-match analysis. Alternatively, you can follow the game with live updates via ManUtd.com and our Official App.
As always, your essential printed guide to the game, United Review, will be on sale at Old Trafford. Copies can also be ordered from manutd.com/programme.
It’s only a short, three-day turnaround since United were last in action, drawing 1-1 with Newcastle United at St. James’ Park. There were two key storylines in that fixture with regards to team news, as Raphael Varane and Edinson Cavani both made their first appearances since our 2 November draw against Atalanta in Italy.
Victor Lindelof was absent after testing positive for COVID-19, while Paul Pogba’s recovery is still in progress, as Ralf Rangnick confirmed last week.
“Right now, it’s about him getting fit again,” Rangnick said of Pogba. “I think this will take, as far as I know, another couple of weeks and until then my full focus is on the players who are available and with whom I can play the next upcoming games.”
Bruno Fernandes will also be absent. The Portuguese picked up his fifth yellow card of the Premier League campaign during the draw at Newcastle and is therefore ruled out with a one-game suspension.
Burnley are buoyed by the potential return of Maxwell Cornet. The Ivory Coast forward, who has shown fine form this season, had been out of action with a thigh injury and was originally scheduled to join up with his country's squad on 27 December for training before the Africa Cup of Nations. Players have now been permitted to join up at a later date, on 3 January, allowing Cornet to play in this fixture, if he has regained full fitness. It remains to be seen whether Dale Stephens (illness), Connor Roberts (illness) and Ashley Barnes (thigh) have a chance of playing on Thursday.
The Clarets had their Boxing Day match against Everton postponed, due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in their opponents' squad, and therefore haven’t played since 12 December. Their clashes with Aston Villa and Watford were also called off for the same reason.
Burnley's five games since winning 3-1 against Brentford on 30 October have resulted in draws with Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Wolves and West Ham and a narrow defeat to Newcastle. They currently sit in the Premier League’s relegation zone, but have several games in hand on all the teams around them. Nevertheless, they are one of only two sides to have won just once in the division all season.
As for United, the Reds are now seven games unbeaten (four wins, three draws) but have faced frustration in our last two matches, a dogged 1-0 win at Norwich and a scrappy 1-1 draw in Newcastle. Rangnick was unimpressed with his side’s most recent display on Monday evening.
“I didn't like the performance at all,” he said. “It was not a question of formation - it was a question of how aggressive we were. It's all about energy, physicality and who wins the second balls.”
Sean Dyche has become one of English football’s stalwarts, his reign at Burnley having lasted 10 seasons already. The former defender - Dyche played for Nottingham Forest, Millwall and Watford, among others - enjoyed his first coaching job with Watford in the Championship before taking over at Burnley in October 2012, replacing Eddie Howe at Turf Moor. He earned promotion with the Clarets in his debut season and had to replicate the feat again in 2016 after their spell in the top flight lasted only a year. The 50-year-old's finest achievement was taking the club back into European football for the first time in over half-a-century, even though they were ultimately eliminated in UEFA Europa League qualification by Olympiacos. Dyche is the longest-serving current manager in the Premier League.
Our last game against Burnley was marked by two goals from Mason Greenwood, either side of James Tarkowski's equaliser for the visitors, as United won 3-1 at Old Trafford in April. Edinson Cavani added a third strike for the Reds in injury time. At Turf Moor earlier in the same 2020/21 season, Paul Pogba had scored the only goal of the game in the 71st minute as we moved three points clear at the top of the Premier League.
This will be our 133rd competitive match against Burnley. United have won 64 of the previous meetings and have lost 45 times, while 23 games have been drawn.
Festive meetings with the Clarets have been common in recent years. We won 2-0 at Turf Moor on 28 December in 2019, and drew 2-2 at home on Boxing Day two years before that.
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Assistants: Marc Perry, Timothy Wood
Fourth official: Paul Tierney
VAR: Darren England
Assistant VAR: Dan Robathan
PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES & RESULTS
TUESDAY 28 DECEMBER
Arsenal v Wolves (postponed)
Crystal Palace 3 Norwich City 0
Leeds United v Aston Villa (postponed)
Leicester City 1 Liverpool 0
Southampton 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1
Watford 1 West Ham United 4
WEDNESDAY 29 DECEMBER
Chelsea v Brighton (19:30 GMT)
Brentford v Man City (20:15 GMT)
THURSDAY 30 DECEMBER
Everton v Newcastle (postponed)
UNITED v Burnley (20:15 GMT)
Fans in the UK can watch all of these games live or on demand via Amazon Prime. A 30-day free trial is available to new subscribers. T&Cs apply and can be found on www.amazon.co.uk/primeterms.