After returning from an extended absence with a disappointing 1-1 draw away to 19th placed Newcastle, Ralf Rangnick and Manchester United host 18th placed Burnley at Old Trafford in their last match of 2021.
Rangnick said the performance against Newcastle was really poor, with United allowing Newcastle a lot of opportunities to take all three points, and would’ve deserved them as well.
Burnley poses one of the most difficult tests in the Premier League for any side, manager Sean Dyche has them very regimented defensively that it could be a struggle for any side in the league to break them down.
Burnley haven’t played since December the 12th, making previous form likely redundant, but in their last three fixtures, only one goal has been scored, showing their defensive resilience.
Despite troubling performances, United have had success against Burnley in recent years, only losing once in the last 13 meetings between the clubs, whilst doing the double against them last season.
United’s key player for this game will be Jadon Sancho, to exploit Burnley’s low defensive block United will need players to produce moments of magic to create chances, Sancho has shown that he can exploit defences in multiple ways, his dribbling and passing ability could be a key to how United can create chances.
Untied will have to be wary of Burnley’s target man Chris Wood, he is Burnley’s main outlet on counter-attacks, his size and strength causes defenders problems, and with United having a shaky backline against Newcastle, Wood will be looking to test them throughout the game.
United will be without three players for this fixture, Bruno Fernandes is suspended after accumulating too many yellow cards, Paul Pogba is still recovering from his muscle injury, whilst Victor Lindelof is isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.
Burnley will be without striker Ashley Barnes who is out with a thigh injury, right back Connor Roberts will also be missing with a non-Covid related illness.