Manchester United vs Burnley Preview

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       Boxing Day is here! As a massive sports fan, this day is one I look forward to every year. On this day, all Premier League clubs play regardless of when they have played over the weekend. This Boxing Day, Manchester United face Burnley at Old Trafford.

       After another disappointing encounter against Leicester saw the gap between us and Man City open to 13 points. But I am not going to talk about the draw because it has been blown out of proportion on every level. Don't get me wrong. It was extremely frustrating to watch but seeing fans hurl abuse at players' "Merry Christmas" posts and calling the likes of Rashford and Martial, "frauds", is way out of order. And above all, blaming Jose for the draw is a degree of stupidity on its own.

        Anyway, onto the next game. Burnley are currently seventh on the table after probably their best start to the Premier League. Sean Dyche has set his team up very well with an extremely astute defence and a free flowing front line. Their defenders, namely, Mee, Tarkowski(suspended and injured) and Ward(injured)  have been immense having conceded only 15 goals. That is one more than Manchester United and Chelsea. Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal have conceded more than them.

        Upfront however, they are not too good going forward. Having scored only 16 goals, their source of goals is very erratic. Chris Wood plays as their central striker in front of Jeff Hendrick. Basically, they do not have a striker they can rely on, week in, week out. And after their prolific set piece taker, Robbie Brady, got injured, they haven't been too efficient. 

       Let us see how we might set up for the tie tomorrow. Since they are scanty going forward and are away from home, we should concentrate more on our finishing this time. However, I will drop Smalling and Jones. There was a clear lack of professionalism about them for both goals. I want to see Jose be more ruthless and drop them for a while just to show the team that he isn't going to entertain "childish behavior" at this club.

        The midfield pivot remains the same for me. Also, I don't see Jose dropping Mata after his two goal haul that should have won us the game. I do see him being sent to play on the right wing instead though. However, I wouldn't be particularly surprised if he did drop him for Mkhitaryan.

        As our main attackers, I would love to see Mkhitaryan make a comeback and give him one more chance. And contradicting popular opinion, I want to see Rashford start alongside Lukaku. Rashford has been an amazing player for us and is still very very young. If you don't get behind him now, don't bother singing his name when he wins us silverware. By the way, another thing that I learnt, is that Lukaku can be absolutely brilliant. Anyway, my starting eleven would be: 

Lineup prediction: De Gea; Young, Rojo, Lindelof, Shaw; Matic, Pogba; Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford; Lukaku

Score prediction: 2-0 (Lukaku and Pogba)


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