Preview: Burnley v Manchester United

Burnley will be looking to dent Manchester United’s top-four aspirations when they meet in their English Premier League clash at Turf Moor on Sunday.

Premier League
23 April 2017
Matchday 34
Kickoff: 15:15
Venue: Turf Moor

Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: J Collin, P Kirkup
Fourth official: L Mason

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Burnley 77 29 15 33
United 77 33 15 29

Previous encounter:

United 0-0 Burnley (29/10/2016) Premier League

Players to watch:

Andre Gray, this season’s top scorer for the Clarets has bundles of pace and energy upfront and will no doubt test back-four of the depleted United defence, who prefer coming up against powerful target-men.

With the home side likely to sit back and hit Manchester United on the counter, Gray will be the most likely attacking outlet, looking to punish Jose Mourinho’s fatigued side.

Marcus Rashford has reaffirmed his potential as a future United superstar over the past week.

A stunning match-winning display against league leaders Chelsea on Sunday and the winning goal against Anderlecht on Thursday to put the Red Devils into the semi-finals of the Europa League has clearly won the trust over of manager Jose Mourinho.

His pace, trickery and dynamism around the area will surely earn him regular game-time and with Zlatan Ibrahimovic potentially out for the season, the 19-year-old will look to lead the line in the run-in until the end of the season.

Team form and manager quotes:

Burnley are safe of any relegation battle but come into the fixture on a poor run of form, with only one win in their past 11 games across all competitions.

And with United set to visit their home ground, manager Sean Dyche understands they’re in for a long afternoon against, what he describes as ‘the best team’ in the division.

“United’s end of the market is different to ours, but they’ve been so dominant in so many games they probably should have won and haven’t.

“They are a top side, you only have to look at the players they have, they are always going to be strong.

“On the day at Old Trafford in October, they were the best side we’ve played against this season,” he told BBC Sport.

United have been in superb form since the turn of the year. The lost time Mourinho’s side lost a league game was in late October 2016, against his former side Chelsea.

However, the challenge of sustaining challenges across multiple competitions are coming back to haunt the Red Devils with a host of injury issues.

“We are in trouble,” Mourinho told reporters. “We are in trouble. In this moment, Eric Bailly played six matches in a row, and we lost Marcos Rojo, we don’t have Jones or Smalling, we are in trouble and now we lose Zlatan too.”

The injury to Ibrahimovic could see United stalwart Wayne Rooney called upon to provide some strength and experience up front.

Team news:

Scott Arfield and Sam Vokes are doubtful with a hamstring injuries but Johann Berg Gudmundsson is fit after a knee injury.

Influential first-team members Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rojo will both face late fitness tests while Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Juan Mata remain unavailable.

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