On Tuesday night, Manchester United will go to Burnley to play their 17th match of the season. Even a point against Burnley will move them to the top of the Premier League table above Liverpool.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are currently second in the league, with the reigning champions on 33 points. While Burnley is 16th, having earned 16 points from their 15 matches in 2020-21.
Burnley will play the match in good form on Tuesday, having won three of their last four games in all competitions. On January 3, Sean Dyche’s side were due to face Fulham, but a coronavirus outbreak in the squad of the London club meant that the fixture had to be postponed. From their 15 league matches this season, Dyche’s team has secured 16 points to sit 16th in the table.
They are five points away from the relegation zone. They have won three of their last four Premier League fixtures at Turf Moor, overcoming Crystal Palace, Wolves, and Sheffield United. United, meanwhile, will play the match off the back of a 1-0 victory over Watford in the FA Cup. Scott McTominay’s header sent the Red Devils into the competition’s fourth round.
In the EFL Cup semi-finals, Solskjaer’s side endured a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City but were in excellent shape in the league. Back-to-back victories over Wolves and Aston Villa, combined with Liverpool’s dropped points, suggest that United is on the side of Jurgen Klopp on points. And a Turf Moor draw or win will see them take the lead ahead of the big game between the top two at Anfield next weekend.
Burnley are hopeful that Nick Pope can recover from an ankle injury in time for the clash. But Will Norris has not proved his fitness yet. Dwight McNeil also has a chance of returning from a groin problem, but Charlie Taylor, Jay Rodriguez, and Kevin Long are all expected to remain absent. As for United, Solskjaer revealed that Paul Pogba, Victor Lindelof, and Luke Shaw were all injured for the FA Cup fixture rather than rested.
Eric Bailly faces a battle to prove his fitness, having suffered a neck injury in a collision with Dean Henderson during Saturday’s fixture. Phil Jones and Facundo Pellistri are still out while Marcos Rojo remains a huge doubt. But Edinson Cavani has now served a three-game suspension and is in contention for a starting spot.
Burnley possible starting lineup: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; McNeil, Westwood, Brownhill, Brady; Barnes, Wood
Manchester United possible starting lineup: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial