Phil Bardsley

Bardsley highlights threat of two Reds

Tuesday 12 January 2021 10:16

Burnley right-back Phil Bardsley has picked out the two Manchester United players he and the Clarets have to look out for on Tuesday.

The former Red, who is hoping for a starting berth at Turf Moor after making a recovery from various injury and illness issues this season, believes Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani are particularly threatening.

Bardsley, who appeared for the first team 18 times between 2003 and 2007, sees the addition of that pair as signifying United’s improving recruitment, and says his current side will have to live up to their reputation as tough operators if they are to take anything from the game.

“Typical Burnley I think, we’ll have to make it difficult. We know United are in good form. They’re an outstanding team,” Phil told MUTV Group Chat.

Phil Bardsley looks back at his United career on MUTV Group Chat.

“I think Ole is doing an incredible job with the players, especially with the recruitment, which has been outstanding.

“Bruno has been a great signing, as well as Cavani. I think his stats are off the charts when he plays. His physical output for his age is outstanding and, as a whole, everybody’s nose is pointing in the right direction.”

United will go three points clear at the top of the Premier League with a win in East Lancashire.

Bardsley hopes the Reds can make it title no.21 in May, but obviously has his focus set on getting one over Solskjaer’s in-form side first.

“Competing for the title again is good to see. I think the mentality is there and they’ve got the right players to challenge.

“If they keep the focus – I know Ole’s been there before and he’s got the experience and now he’s got the right people around him.

“Hopefully they can do it – not tonight, though!”

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It’ll be the first time the Clarets have come up against Fernandes since his move from Sporting Lisbon 12 months ago.

When asked if Sean Dyche had come up with a specific plan to thwart the Portuguese maestro, Bardsley said it would be more about the overall team approach, rather than man-to-man marking – to his personal relief!

“We’re quite disciplined in our setup. We’re a well-organised side and he’s certainly somebody we’ll have to keep an eye on playing in that 10 slot.

“The midfielders are going to have a busy night unfortunately! As long as he doesn’t drift out left, I’ll be alright! He’s an outstanding player, but the way we set up, we probably wouldn’t set up to specifically man-mark somebody.

“With our system and our approach, as I said before, we’re well-organised so hopefully we can fill those gaps he likes to take up, and hopefully try and stop him at source if we can.”