Preview: Burnley v Manchester United

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Both Burnley and Manchester United have endured a poor start to the Premier League meaning Sunday’s clash at Turf Moor is virtually a must-win for both sides.

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Premier League
Date: 2 September 2018
Game week 4
Kick-off: 17:00 (GMT+2)
Venue: Turf Moor

Referee: J. Moss
Assistants: H. Lennard, A. Halliday
Fourth official: M. Oliver

Head-to-head summary:


Burnley 80 29 16 35
Man United 80 35 16 29

Previous encounter:

Burnley 0-1 United 20/01/18 (Premier League)

United’s goalscorer: A. Martial (54′)

Players to watch:

Former England number one Joe Hart has had something of a baptism of fire during the opening three matches he has started for the Clarets, conceding seven goals during that period. How he stands up against a United attack that could be breathing fire is well worth watching.

Paul Pogba gave an excellent performance in the opening day victory over Leicester City but was less influential in the losses to Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur. With reports continuing to circulate that he is a target for Barcelona, how the playmaker performs on Sunday in Lancashire could be compelling viewing.

Team form and manager quotes:

Burnley have started the campaign in uncharacteristically poor fashion having lost twice and drawn once in their opening three games in the EPL.

It appears the Clarets’ engagements in the Europa League may be contributing to the poor form which has seen substantial defeats to Watford and Fulham.

The home side bowed out of the competition on Thursday having lost to Olympiacos on aggregate. Nonetheless, boss Sean Dyche believes the experience can only benefit his side ahead of the clash with United.

He told reporters: “I think we have learnt a lot. A lot on the pitch, off the pitch, a lot about travelling, about organisation and all the things that come with it.

“There have been a lot of learning curves for me, the staff, the players and the club I think. The whole club will learn from this experience.”

The away side come into the clash having been humiliated by Brighton 3-2 and thrashed 3-0 by Tottenham, amid talk of ongoing unrest in the United dressing room.

Manager Jose Mourinho has since made it clear that he does not know his best defensive line-up with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof all having been used with mixed success.

Prior to 2018/19, the Portuguese wanted to sign a centre-back, however, Chief Executive Officer Ed Woodward refused to sanction another transfer, indicating tension between the upper hierarchy and management.

Mourinho said: “[Phil] Jones and [Chris] Smalling (played), but now Jones is injured, and next match it will be Smalling, with another one.

“When Marcos Rojo comes he will be an option, and no, I don’t know my best back four.”

Team news:

Anders Lindegaard, Nick Pope, Steven Defour and Robbie Brady have struggled with injuries and are doubtful for the contest.

For the Red Devils, Marcos Rojo could be fit enough to make his return from injury while Diogo Dalot remains absent. Back-up goalkeeper Sergio Romero’s participation is also questionable and Jones is out with a hamstring concern.