Match day three of the new Barclays Premier League season is just around the corner, all 20 teams have had a taste of the new season as they have played 2 games each. Louis Van Gaal’s wounded Manchester United will travel to newly promoted Burnley for what should be a tricky encounter at Turf Moor.
Burnley have struggled in their first weeks of top flight football as they had an opening day defeat at home to Chelsea. They then went on to play Swansea at the Liberty Stadium where they lost by the narrowest of margins (1-0). The Clarets also bowed out of the Capital One Cup in the second round against Sheffield Wednesday.
You can say the same about Manchester United, they too are struggling. Van Gaal’s side are winless in 3 competitive matches, despite a very successful pre-season. The Red Devils tasted defeat on the opening day at Old Trafford, losing 2-1 to Swansea City, and were then pegged back for a 1-1 draw at the Stadium Of Light against Sunderland.
The Premier League giants were also knocked out of the Capital One Cup in the second round in an embarrassing 4-0 thumping by MK Dons. Ultimately, both sides are winless in competitive fixtures, thus far.
The last time these two sides met in league action at Turf Moor, Burnley won 1-0 thanks to a sumptuous strike from Robbie Blake. The Red Devils then won the reverse fixture at Old Trafford 3-0.
Manchester United have been busy this transfer window strengthening their squad, but three of the four players they have signed are unavailable for the trip to Burnley (Rojo, Herrera, Shaw).
The signing of Argentine international Angel Di Maria is a massive statement of intent from Van Gaal and co. He will be a crucial player in this match, as he provides a different aspect to the club’s more recent lacklustre playing style. He will add to their already dynamic attack and will make United fans excited once more.
Wayne Rooney is the leader of the team on and off the pitch, he has to get the morale of the players up – he needs to play his part on the pitch.
Juan Mata will also be key because he adds the creativity the Manchester United and his link up play with Rooney is amazing. The Spaniard and Di Maria will need to form a good partnership.
Key players for Burnley will be Ings, Mee & Jones.
Danny Ings is integral as he is the one up top who is relied on to put the ball in the net. Meanwhile, Mee will be dependable when defending on the flanks against the Red Devil’s quality wide players. Man United have become renowned for the vast number of crosses they fire into the box, so most of their play is likely to come from the flanks.
David Jones will be play an important role in the centre of the park for Burnley. He will need to be quick and alert in ordered to shut down Manchester United’s midfield. Jones will want to dictate the play in midfield whilst remaining disciplined.
Possible Starting Line-ups
Burnley: (4-4-1-1) Heaton; Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee; Arfield, Jones, Taylor, Marney; Jutkiewicz; Ings.
Manchester United: (3-4-1-2) De Gea; Smalling, Jones, Evans; Januzaj, Di Maria, Rooney, Young; Mata; RvP, Welbeck.
Both sides are in poor form, but it will have to change eventually if they want to be successful. Sean Dyche’s men will need to play a very good game to collect any points.
Di Maria could really motivate United and be a very influential player. The visitors will not be at all phased by being away from Old Trafford as they had a very good away record last season.
Score Prediction: Burnley 1-3 Manchester United