After a disappointing weekend, both Manchester United and Burnley look to claim points this evening.
Looking for their first win since 1962, the Clarets will head to Old Trafford looking to move past their draw against West Brom, whilst the Reds hope to continue their slow but steady move up the Premier League table.
Both have a lot to play for at opposite ends of the table, making this a game you don’t want to miss.
With a lacklustre weekend draw, United hope to put the past behind them and focus on the next week of football, as if all goes to plan the team could be sitting in third position along with being FA Cup quarter-finalists. That is a big if though. Despite only losing twice in 18 games across all competitions, what we have seen from Manchester United is certainly not what you would expect from a team with such stature. The club cannot escape the fact that they spent an English transfer window record of £149 million last summer, and still their progress has been shocking as opposed to sensational. Along with the fact that Van Gaal’s men are not short of attacking talent, fans and critics have been left wondering what the Dutchman is thinking. However, maybe we are expecting too much too soon? After all, this season was one of transition and repair, therefore with Champions League qualification being one of the main aims, and the fact that the Reds are sat in 5th spot – maybe there are some positives after all. The Reds are only without two this evening. Due a red card, Shaw will be missing the game and Carrick is also out but with a calf strain and is not set to return until the end of the month.
With only five points earned out of fifteen in the new year, Burnley certainly have their work cut out. Sitting in 19th position, and a schedule insight that includes all of the current top seven clubs, most sides would buckle under the pressure. However, if there is a team that will fight to frustrate the opposition and try and get a result, it’s the Clarets. Back in August at Turf Moor they achieved a 0-0 draw against the Reds, and recently have claimed a point away at Manchester City, and at St. James’ Park. The side have certainly shown character, but with only one away win this season, they will have to display more than that to make a difference and try to dig themselves out of the relegation zone. The side have four injuries. Barney (ACL knee) has no return date, and it is looking like he will be out for the rest of the season. Ward and Taylor are out with ankle/foot and calf/shin injuries and both are not set to return until 21st February. Long (ACL knee) will also be out for the rest of the season and is not expected back until October 2015.
In charge will be Kevin Friend. The Leicester based referee has been a part of the Select Group Referees since 2009 and has officiated in games such as the 2012 Community Shield and the 2013 League Cup final.
- Manchester United currently have the third best defence in the league.
- United have won each of their last 12 home matches against promoted sides and are unbeaten in their last 39 since Bolton triumphed 2-1 in 2001.
- Burnley have won just one of the last 20 meetings with the Red Devils (D8, L11). Their last victory in any competition at Old Trafford was a 5-3 win in the old First Division in September 1962.
- Wayne Rooney has not hit a shot on target in the Premier League in 2015, despite playing 450 minutes.
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