Manchester United aim to reclaim third spot with Clarets coup
Manchester United, odds-on 4/9 with Coral for a top four finish, will be aiming to return to the Champions League place with a victory against relegation-battling Burnley at Old Trafford.
Dutchman Daley Blind struck an injury-time equaliser to claim a draw with West Ham United at Upton Park in the Red Devils’ last league outing, after Cheikhou Kouyate had opened the scoring.
Louis van Gaal came under criticism from Hammers boss Sam Allardyce for his apparent long-ball tactics, but the Dutch manager was quick to deny such a style of play and will be switching his focus to a visit from Sean Dyche’s Clarets.
Burnley, 17/2 to win, have won just two of their last 30 Premier League away games and have kept only a single clean sheet during that run, while United have been dominant at home, having lost only once in their previous 14 Old Trafford encounters.
The Red Devils, odds-on 1/3 favourites, have the second-best home record in the to -flight and they will be confident of regaining third spot with a win against a poor Burnley outfit. United are 23/20 to win to nil, having done so in their previous home clash with Cambridge United.
Dyche’s men are desperate to pick up points as they fight to avoid the drop, having blown a two-goal lead to draw with West Bromwich Albion in their last league clash.
However, they face a tough task with the Red Devils keeping six clean sheets in their last seven meetings with Burnley, conceding just once in the other clash.
Full back Luke Shaw will serve a suspension following his dismissal against West Ham, while Michael Carrick remains the only injury absentee for the home side due to a muscle problem.
Clarets boss Dyche has some absences of his own, with midfield stalwart Dean Marney recently being ruled out for the season following a serious knee injury. However, Steven Reid and Michael Knightly are nearing comebacks and could feature at Old Trafford.
Since being deployed in a deeper central role under Van Gaal, home skipper Wayne Rooney has failed to have a shot on target this year, despite playing 450 minutes of action.
The England captain is the only current United player to have ever previously scored against the Clarets, and is 5/1 to open proceedings and add to his eight season strikes.
Burnley have not won at Old Trafford in any competition since September 1962 but, with in-form forward Danny Ings in their side, they have a fighting chance of overturning that poor record.
The England Under-21 international has struck in four of his last five league appearances, giving hope to the Clarets in their ruthless relegation scrap. Clinical centre forward Ings has eight goals altogether this term and is 11/4 to score again anytime.
A win for Van Gaal’s European hopefuls would see them climb above Southampton into third, as a return to Champions League football beckons.
United are also aiming to secure their first FA Cup triumph since 2004, and are 5/2 to lift the famous trophy this year.