Going for the sweep
Man United hosts Burnley on Sunday from Old Trafford
Table of Contents
There will be no room for error for Manchester United as they get set to host Burnley in a matinee affair from Old Trafford on Sunday.
For the Reds, it’s another opportunity to gain some ground and put extra pressure on the league leaders Manchester City as we begin the home stretch of this EPL campaign.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men sit in second place with seven games remaining, 11 points behind the Sky Blues but with one game in hand.
Man United can trim the Citizens lead to single digits with a win.
For Burnley, they aren’t entirely out of the woods as they sit seven points clear of Fulham in the relegation zone with seven games remaining.
Marcus Rashford missed his team’s Europa League victory over Granada on Thursday and will be assessed ahead of this weekend’s match.
The Manchester-born striker has been dealing with foot and ankle problems.
Expect to see a more familiar defensive setup for the Red Devils than we saw in mid-week.
Luke Shaw, Scott McTominay, and captain Harry Maguire are all available after missing this week’s match against Granada through suspension.
Eric Bailly could be ready to return after a positive COVID test while Anthony Martial and Phil Jones remain out with long-term injuries.
The Clarets will have to soldier on without England keeper Nick Pope who has a shoulder injury.
Dwight McNeil took a knock in training this week and might not be ready for Sunday.
Expect Bailey Peacock-Farrell to start in goal for the Clarets.
Ashley Barnes, Robbie Brady and Kevin Long remain sidelined through injury.
Completing the double
In their first meeting of the season back in January, a late strike from Paul Pogba gave United a 1-0 win and moved them into first in the Premier League table at that moment.
It’s been quite some time, however, since United have swept their league matches versus Burnley.
A win Sunday would mark their first league double against the Clarets since the 1975-76 season.
Burnley came out on top in this exact fixture in 2019-20, winning 2-0.
Unable to bring it home
Sean Dyche’s team has not had a great deal of Premier League success (just two wins in their last 15 games) against the Reds.
However they have been much better when playing at Old Trafford.
The Clarets are unbeaten in their last four away games versus Man United.
That’s pretty impressive given how long it’s been since any Premier League side has won five straight in the Red Devils own backyard.
In six consecutive EPL matches from 1994- 1998, Chelsea earned points against Man United.
Lately, the road team has been far more successful in league matches between these two sides.
The home team has failed to win the last nine United-Burnley matches in this competition.
Doing it the hard way
Man United have had success in the Premier League in this new year (just one loss), but they haven’t exactly made it easy on themselves.
The Reds have come from behind to win nine games in this competition, which is the second-most.
A win on Sunday would tie them with Newcastle for the most all-time.
The Magpies won 10 EPL matches after trailing in the 2001-02 campaign.
A thorn in United’s side
If there’s one current Burnley player who enjoys playing at Old Trafford, it’s Chris Wood.
The striker from New Zealand has goals in each of his last two visits to United’s home ground.
If he can get his name on the scoresheet on Sunday, Burnley’s leading goalscorer would join some very exclusive company.
Only five visiting players have ever scored in three consecutive appearances at Old Trafford- Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (2001), Mark Viduka (2007), Emmanuel Adebayor (2014), Sergio Aguero (2015) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (2017).
Wood has been critical for Burnley of late, scoring in three of his last four matches.
After a sluggish first half of this campaign, Mason Greenwood has found his scoring touch.
The Reds striker has goals in his last two Premier League appearances.
This comes after scoring just once in his first 23 league appearances this season.
The 19-year-old has 13 Premier League goals in his career with the Reds to this point.
A couple more would draw him even with ex-United great Wayne Rooney, for most goals scored as a teenager with 15.
Greenwood has goals in three of his last five matches for the Reds in all competitions.
Speaking of coming alive, that’s something Matej Vydra has been able to do for Burnley of late.
The Czech striker has goals in his last two games for the Clarets.
You can’t fault Burnley’s Josh Brownhill for not trying.
The Clarets midfielder had fired 27 shots in the 2020-21 Premier League campaign without scoring, the most of any EPL player.
Brownhill will hope he’s due for a goal, having not scored in his last 33 attempts in the league.
Sunday’s match from Old Trafford begins at 4 pm. (JSL).