Burnley vs Manchester United Preview

Burnley vs Manchester United Preview
Image result for burnley vs manchester united
Image from HD Matches

It's bounce-back time! Manchester United travel to Burnley, aiming to get their second win of the season after back-to-back defeats to Brighton away and Tottenham at home. Back-to-back defeats of late have come at seriously inopportune moments of the respective seasons. Last year, defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle essentially gave Manchester City more space to cleave through the rest of the Premier League and allowed the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs to edge closer to second place. The year before, United suffered early defeats to Man City at home and Watford away with a Europa League defeat to Feyenoord sandwiched between the two. In the final season of Van Gaal's short tenure, United suffered three December defeats on the bounce to newly-promoted Bournemouth and Norwich, as well as a 2-0 defeat at Stoke on Boxing Day, which only put more pressure on the experienced Dutchman as his future at United continued to be questioned. 

The 2015/16 defeats display a similar situation to the one that Mourinho is currently in, with some fans baying for his dismissal and others for Ed Woodward's. Personally, I do not think Mourinho deserves to go or should leave United at any point as he can only do so much with the players he has having previously demanded a new centre-back and another winger to join before Deadline Day. Nevertheless, the papers claim that one more defeat will do it and if Burnley claims their first win of the season in what has been a winless start so far, it could be curtains for Mourinho. This should not be the case but in modern football, the manager always pays the price for the way the season goes and it rarely gets traced back to the CEOs or the sponsors that the likes of Newcastle, Arsenal and West Ham fans to name a few, have complained about for years.

Image result for ed woodward
Woodward out?
Image from the Mirror
Ranting over now, time for the team news:
Manchester United should be without Phil Jones who came off against Tottenham in another weak performance for the former Blackburn player. He has really not looked the same since his big injury half-way through last season. Marcos Rojo and Sergio Romero are still both injured which could mean a return for Eric Bailly, who is the club's best centre-back and could cope with the strength of Vokes, Wood or Barnes. Jesse Lingard, Antonio Valencia and Nemanja Matic all made their returns to first-team football in the Tottenham game and did reasonably well with Lingard being one of the best players against Tottenham with his willingness to run and high energy press vital to creating chances. Martial could make a return to the side with a renewed contract on the cards for the Frenchman and could prove his worth with a return to the side. At this point, it seems that only Shaw, De Gea, Lingard and Lukaku are guaranteed to start with Pogba, Matic, Valencia and Smalling all likely to do so but not definitely so. 

Burnley will be without Nick Pope, Steven Defour and Johann Gudmundsson and likely to be unable to recall Robbie Brady to the lineup despite the Irish winger returning to training after suffering a hamstring strain. Jonathan Walters is also unlikely to start with the forward looking for a move away from the Clarets either on loan or a permanent switch with Championship sides looking to use his experience and leadership to advance their current positions. 

This has to be the game in which United bounce back and could do so like a lightning bolt against a very dodgy Burnley defence that let in seven goals in the league (and four against Olympiakos in the Europa League) and will attempt to attack United to appease the home crowd who will demand a victory. This should play into United's hands and they could counter with power and pace. United and Burnley need the win but Mourinho will have more pressure than Sean Dyche as it could be curtains for top four let alone the title. 

Predicted lineup: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Shaw, Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Lingard, Sanchez, Lukaku

PREDICTED SCORE: 1-3 to United


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