January 11, 2021
Manchester United will face Burnley at Turf Moor in the Premier League on Tuesday evening, the match that was originally supposed to start the season with United and Manchester City both having a further week to recover after participation in European competition from last season, which was delayed because of the coronavirus lockdown. This match could result in United rising to the top of the Premier League just days before taking on Liverpool for the first time this season – providing they beat Burnley, of course. This would show that there has been lots of improvement at United this season – who’d have thought that!
There seems to be a lot of hostility on social media from the supposed supporters of the club that seem to think United are moving forward in spite of, not because of Solskjaer, which just shows the pathetic nature of these supporters whose agenda seems to be as deep as some in the political world right now. That said, those who back the process and support the manager and all of the players representing the club, will rightly so bask in the improvement which has seen United start to challenge in the Premier League once again, no matter how long it continues – it is the closest United have come in seven years to competing.
How United have faired against Burnley in the Premier League.
United and Burnley have played 12 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won six of the meetings, drawing four and losing twice. United have scored a total of 17 goals, winning four penalties and scoring two of them. Burnley have scored eight goals, winning no penalties. United have kept seven cleans sheets with Burnley keeping just four. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 22 yellow cards with two red cards being shown. Burnley have been shown 33 yellow cards with no red cards. This is an important match for United, who could sit at the top of the league before they face Liverpool next weekend.
Last season, in this encounter at Turf Moor, played on the 28 December 2019, United won 2-0 with Anthony Martial opening the scoring in the 44th minute, assisted by Andreas Pereira and with Marcus Rashford securing the victory in the 90+5th minute, assisted by Daniel James. United will be seeking for a similar result against Burnley this season, which will help them pile the pressure on Liverpool ahead of their clash next weekend. At Old Trafford, a match played on the 22 January 2020, it was a 2-0 victory for Burnley with Chris Wood opening the scoring in the 39th minute and Jay Rodriquez securing the victory in the 56th minute.
Here is my predicted starting XI to face Burnley in the Premier League at Turf Moor on Tuesday evening…
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
David De Gea has been rested for the past two matches with Dean Henderson starting against both Manchester City and Watford in the Carabao Cup and the Emirates FA Cup respectively. De Gea will now be rested and ready to face both Burnley and Liverpool this week as United enter a defining stage of the season for them. A victory over Burnley could propel United to the top of the league, three points clear of Liverpool before they travel to Anfield. A victory there will give United a six-point cushion over the Merseyside whiners. This could either be a good week for United, or a bad one. I’d like to think there have been too many bad weeks already this season though.
Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles
United’s defence has done well lately despite having some unlucky injuries to both Victor Lindelof and more recently Eric Bailly. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles will start in the fullback positions with Axel Tuanzebe and Harry Maguire partnering in the centre of the defence. Tim Fosu-Mensah is expected to leave the club this month which will leave Brandon Williams vying with Wan-Bissaka in the right-back position, which will be good for both players for the remainder of the season. United have kept four clean sheets since December, so will be seeking to keep more, maximising their goal difference, which might come into play later this season.
Midfield: Scott McTominay, Fred
United have some problems in midfield with Nemanja Matic unable to play back to back matches and Paul Pogba currently recovering from a knock after missing the 1-0 victory over Watford in the Emirates FA Cup at the weekend. Fred has been a player who has offered much this season, other than assists and goals, his importance on the pitch is now seen by many as he worked hard to push himself into the plans of Solskjaer after being written off by Jose Mourinho. Scott McTominay is also an important player. Those fan cam muppets may suggest McTominay is not a United player, but they are not proper United fans, are they. Supporting a club to create an avenue to make money is not supporting the club.
Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford
There are 32 goals and 19 assists between Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford this season, a total of 51 goal contributions between three players. Some will suggest that United rely on both Fernandes and Rashford this season, especially Spurs fans, who have just had god knows how many seasons relying on Harry Kane to drag them towards no trophies. I think this trio, aided by Cavani, could unlock Burnley and push United to the summit of the Premier League table ahead of the clash with Liverpool at the weekend, which will now be the biggest match of the season so far for United.
Forwards: Edinson Cavani
Edinson Cavani has scored four goals and two assists so far this season and has been missing for the past three matches due to suspension. Solskjaer will be seeking to get him involved against Burnley so that he has some match fitness to face Liverpool at the weekend, which will be the first of two meetings against the club in around a week. Cavani has had some good positioning when playing for United this season and has been able to unlock the backline and either score or create goals or start goalscoring moves to beat the opposition. At this time I see Cavani as the best striker in the squad as he offers a lot more than Anthony Martial.
Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw; Juan Mata, Daniel James, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek; Anthony Martial, Odion Ighalo
With nine substitutes named on the bench, Solskjaer will have a lot of choice on the bench to change the game, should he need to. January is going to be a big month with United now facing Liverpool twice in the Premier League and the Emirates FA Cup, so keeping players fresh for what lies ahead will be needed. United will also have Amad Diallo to get involved in the squad, which may not come in this match. Dean Henderson will be back on the bench after starting twice in the past week. In defence, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw could be called upon. In midfield, Juan Mata, Daniel James, Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek will be available. In attack, Anthony Martial and Odion Ighalo could also be called upon.
Written by John Walker