Preview: Manchester United v Burnley

Manchester United will be looking to close the gap on the top four sides on Saturday with a win over Burnley at Old Trafford.

Premier League
29 October 2016
Kick-off 22:00 HKT
Venue: Old Trafford

Referee: M. Clattenburg
Assistants: J Collin, R West
Fourth official: K Friend

Head-to-head summary:

Manchester United 76 33 14 29
Burnley 76 29 14 33

Previous encounter:

Manchester United 3-1 Burnley 11/02/15 (Premier League)

Manchester United goalscorers: C. Smalling (6′, 45′), Van Persie (82′)

Burnley goalscorers: D. Ings (12′)

Players to watch:

Next up, it's Burnley at Old Trafford on Saturday! #MUFC

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Marcus Rashford will no doubt be a huge threat to the Clarets if he’s handed a start. Sean Dyche has his side playing some good football but their weakest aspect is their defence.

The pace of the teenager will exploit any gaps between the back four and goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

However, if selected Zlatan Ibrahimovic will also be one to look out for – the towering Swede tends to thrive against the smaller sides in the division and will look to bully Michael Keane and co.

The away side, who picked up an impressive win against Everton last week, welcome striker Andre Gray back from suspension.

He will be a key figure for Dyche in this encounter, and if paired with Sam Vokes, the duo could provide problems for the high defensive line of Jose Mourinho’s outfit.

Gray is known for running the channels effectively and having great composure in the final third while Vokes provides the perfect foil as a robust target man that challenges well in the air.

Team form and manager quotes:

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho feels recent criticism directed towards his side is unwarranted and has backed the Red Devils to hit top form soon.

“In the last seven matches, we lost one. It’s better to lose one match 4-0 than four matches 1-0. It’s three points,” he said.

“Our run of results is not bad. We lost two points against Stoke, which was the best match by far in our season in terms of chance creation and opportunities.

“We are a team in process, we won’t do that in three or four months, in this moment we just think about it game by game and Burnley will be very difficult.”

Burnley manager Dyche admit’s his newly-promoted men are up against one of the best teams in world football.

“For all the noise that’s been made about the ups and downs of Manchester United over the past couple of weeks they’re still a fine side,” he explained.

“I look at the manager, the club, the players they’ve got and they’re still a super strong group of people operating at the highest level.”

Positivity personified: @paulpogba!! ?????? ・・・ #Repost @juanmatagarcia

A photo posted by Manchester United (@manchesterunited) on

Team news:

Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly will be out for around two months after suffering a knee injury in the defeat by Chelsea last weekend.

Chris Smalling and Wayne Rooney could return after missing the midweek win over Manchester City.

Burnley striker Gray is available again after serving a four-match ban for homophobic social media posts.

George Boyd has recovered from a knee injury, but Steven Defour is “touch and go” after a hamstring problem.