Thursday, December 5, 2019

Prediction: Manchester United vs Burnley

Verdict: Manchester United to score over 2.5 goals 

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

Looking to extend their winning run to nine games, a resurgent Manchester United will welcome Burnley to Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Manchester United

Starting with the hosts, coming off the back of another eye-catching display in their 3-1 victory away at Arsenal in last week’s FA Cup fourth-round tie, few around Old Trafford would have expected Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s start to life in the United dugout. Now winning all eight of the matches that the Norweigan legend has been in charge, it has been their form in the final third that has really got people talking. Sat just three points adrift of climbing back into the Champions League positions, the Reds have now scored 12 in their last five Premier League appearances. One man who is relishing Solskjaer’s arrival is England international Marcus Rashford. The 21-year-old has now scored in his last four top-flight appearances and on Tuesday he could become the third youngest player to score in five consecutive Premier League games. Fans around Manchester will also be boosted by their recent record against Burnley, particularly at Old Trafford. United are unbeaten in 19 home games against Burnley in all competitions since a 5-2 defeat in the top flight in September 1962.

Team News

Chris Smalling is back in contention for Manchester United after recovering from a foot problem that has kept him sidelined since 8 December.

Marcos Rojo and Marouane Fellaini remain out, while David de Gea will return after being rested at Arsenal.

Burnley

As for the visitors, while Sean Dyche’s side may have shown some much-needed signs of improvements entering the New Year, Burnley still find themselves sat in the heart of a relegation battle. Coming off the back of a 5-0 hammering against Manchester City last weekend and crashing out of the FA Cup, the Clarets now hold just a three-point buffer from slipping back down into the bottom three. Despite enjoying a four-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, their best run of results since April 2018, it will be Burnley’s form away from Turf Moor giving Dyche the biggest headache. Failing to find the net in over 200 minutes of football away from Lancashire, Tuesday’s visitors have recorded just one win in their last nine top-flight matches on the road. Fans making the trip to Manchester will also be aware of the Clarets’ well-publicized issues up against some of the Premier League’s elite. Burnley have lost their last eight Premier League games against teams from the established top six, conceding a total of 25 goals and scoring just three.

Team News

Robbie Brady is doubtful for Burnley after being forced off against Manchester City with a groin problem.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Phil Bardsley face late fitness tests ahead of Tuesday’s match.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester United are unbeaten in 19 home games against Burnley in all competitions since a 5-2 defeat in the top flight in September 1962.
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can become the first manager to begin his reign at a club with seven successive Premier League victories.
  • Marcus Rashford has scored four goals in his last four Premier League matches.
  • Sean Dyche’s side have lost their last eight Premier League games against teams from the established top six, conceding a total of 25 goals and scoring just three.
  • The Clarets have gone 66 top-flight games without being awarded a penalty, with their last spot-kick taken and scored by Sam Vokes in a 3-1 defeat at Everton on 15 April 2017.

Conclusion

While Burnley might be enjoying their brightest Premier League run in nearly 12 months, it is almost impossible to picture them ending Manchester United’s stellar run of form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. With the Reds enjoying a newfound attacking style and believing they can climb back into the top four, we’re backing Tuesday’s hosts to enjoy another successful evening in front of goal.

Verdict: Manchester United to score over 2.5 goals 

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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