We are only three weeks into the 2018-19 Premier League season. And Manchester United have already enjoyed a fair share of drama, struggles and bad results.
The Red Devils began the 2018/19 campaign with a decent 2-1 win over Leicester City in the opening week, but that has been the only positive thing for them during the current term, The Red Devils disappointed in their 2-3 defeat against Brighton two weeks ago, and on Monday they suffered an 0-3 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at home. But Manchester United need to bounce back, and that’s exactly what they will try to do this Sunday when they travel to Burnley to take on The Clarets. Manchester United have looked out of ideas so far, but they will have an ideal opponent considering that Burnley were eliminated from the UEFA Europa League only a few days ago. Jon Moss will take charge of Sunday’s game at Tuf Moor.
Despite the recent run of negative results, Manchester United have recovered several players in recent days. Antonio Valencia, Alexis Sanchez, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic are all available, while Diogo Valot and Sergio Romero played for the U23 side a few days ago. Marcos Rojo also returned to training, but the defence will still have absentees since Phil Jones has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury sustained against Tottenham.
As for Burnley, they could be without up to five players, including two former Manchester United players such as Anders Lindegaard and Robbie Brady (thigh and hamstring, respectively). Nick Pope won’t play due to a shoulder problem, and will face a lenghty spell in the sidelines. Meanwhile, two key midfielders such as Johann Berg Gudmundsson (hamstring) and Steven Defour (calf) are out again. Ben Gibson should return to the starting XI, though.
Needless to say, Manchester United have performed below expectations thus far since they have just three points out of their first three games. The club began the year with a solid 2-1 victory against Leicester, but dropped a winnable game against Brighton & Hove Albion last week (2-3 on the road) and lost 0-3 against Tottenham this past Monday. Riding a two-game losing streak is not good for anyone involved at the club. And needless to say, United must turn things around rather quickly. Will they be able to bounce back in this one just before the international break?
On the other hand, Burnley are yet to register a Premier League win during the current season. They drew in the season opener against Southampton (0-0), and lost to both Watford (3-1) and Fulham (4-2). The Clarets were also participating in the UEFA Europa League Qualifiers, but couldn’t reach the group stage. They lost in the final play-off round against Olympiakos following a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor. Could they take advantage of United’s woes to secure their first Premier League win this term?
What happened the last time these two sides met in this venue?
When these two sides met at Turf Moor last season. United escaped with a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Anthony Martial. The Red Devils went undefeated against Burnley last season, as the meeting between both sides at Old Trafford finished with a 2-2 draw on Boxing Day.
Sunday’s game will be United’s ninth in the Premier League against the Clarets – the Reds have won four, drawn three and lost just one of the previous eight, scoring 11 goals and conceding four in the process.
Both sides have been quite poor during the current season. However, United will have a bolstered squad due to several high-profile returns due to injury. It will be a tough match considering both teams need to pick up the win. However, United should be able to take home the three points against a struggling Burnley side.