Apr 23, 2017 at 2.15pm UK at ​Turf Moor
Attendance: 21,870
Man UtdManchester United

Lowton (65'), Hendrick (88')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Martial (21'), Rooney (39')
Rooney (88')

Preview: Burnley vs. Manchester United

Sports Mole previews Sunday afternoon's Premier League meeting between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor.

Manchester United take on Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday afternoon looking to maintain their unbeaten run of form in the Premier League, which has seen them go 22 matches without tasting defeat.

Too many draws have cost the Red Devils any hope of winning the title in Jose Mourinho's first season in charge, however, with all focus now simply on finishing in one of the coveted top-four spots.


Sean Dyche shouts orders during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Burnley on January 2, 2017© SilverHub

Bar a late collapse, combined with a serious upturn in fortunes for the sides below them, Burnley will be present in the Premier League for successive seasons for the first time come next August.

The Clarets may have seen victories dry up somewhat since the start of February, winning just one of their last 10 - in contrast to five of the previous 10 - but the hard work appears to have already been done for Sean Dyche and his men.

Burnley find themselves 14th in the table and now eight points clear of the dropzone and, with West Bromwich Albion their toughest assignment to come after this weekend's round of matches, you would back them to get over the line with ease.

In both previous campaigns at this level, in 2009-10 and 2014-15, the Lancashire outfit have plummeted straight back down after failing to adapt, though lessons have clearly been learned this time around and relegation has never been a serious threat.

Even with a lack of wins in recent months, Burnley have still managed to collect 10 points from the last 30 on offer to tick along nicely towards their pre-season target of 40 points, which they are now just one win and a draw away from hitting.

Their home form has been well documented, collecting more points than Man United and boasting the best record on their own patch outside of the top seven. On the flipside, away from fortress Turf Moor their fortunes have not been so great - four points from 17 games the division's worst such tally.

Home form alone is looking like being enough to save the Clarets, however, holding claim to the best record of a promoted side since Charlton Athletic in 2000-01, while overall they have already accrued more points than in both previous seasons at this level.

The task for Dyche in the closing weeks is to simply make certain of another term of top-flight football in this part of Lancashire, no doubt targeting a first win away from Turf Moor in his side's remaining two away outings - trips to Bournemouth and Crystal Palace.

Recent form in Premier League: LDLWDL

Manchester United

Henrikh Mkhitaryan celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Europa League game between Manchester United and Anderlecht on April 20, 2017© SilverHub

United's streak of 22 games without defeat in the top flight is the division's longest run since their own tally of 24 in 2010-11, but a quick glance at the table shows that it does not quite tell the whole story.

Instead, it is another statistic that lays out the Red Devils' current problems: 12 draws in all this campaign, just one short of their club-record tally set in 1998-99 - the most successful year in United's proud and illustrious history.

There is no chance of a treble this time around, of course, with the Premier League title out of the question and their FA Cup aspirations long but over, though with a month to go Mourinho could end his first year at Old Trafford on a real high.

Once again EFL Cup winners United were made to do things the hard way against Anderlecht in midweek, being held to another 1-1 home draw in normal time but getting over the line in the second leg thanks to Marcus Rashford's winner in the 107th minute of the quarter-final tie.

Celta Vigo now stand between the Red Devils and a place in the Europa League final, while Lyon or Ajax await at that stage should they make it that far, with the reward at the end of it a backdoor entrance into the Champions League next term.

Mourinho will not want to rely on going all the way on the continent, however, and will instead look to finish in the top four, knowing that his side's fate is still very much in their own hands ahead of next Thursday's crucial clash with neighbours Manchester City.

United face a daunting final run-in to what has been a gruelling campaign, taking in 27 matches since Christmas alone, as they face City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in the final four weeks, all of whom are also still battling to hit their respective targets for the season.

The good news for those making the 28-mile journey from Manchester to Burnley this weekend is that United, in stark contrast to their home form, boast the division's best points-per-game record on their travels - nine wins, three losses and two draws.

Furthermore, they could score three times in an away match for a fourth league game in succession for the first time in 17 years, having brushed aside Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Leicester City in recent weeks, conceding just once in the process.

Recent form in Premier League: DWDDWW
Recent form (all competitions): DDWDWD

Team News

A frustrated Zlatan Ibrahimovic during the Europa League game between Manchester United and Anderlecht on April 20, 2017© SilverHub

Burnley could be without Sam Vokes on Sunday due to a tight hamstring, with boss Dyche describing the Welshman's chances of playing as "touch and go", while Scott Arfield is in a similar situation.

There is a place in the squad for fit-again Johann Berg Gudmundsson, however, who has not featured in more than two months since the shock FA Cup defeat to non-league Lincoln City in round five.

Joey Barton has been given the all clear to feature after the Football Association hearing into his alleged betting breaches was adjourned on Friday afternoon, so he could line up alongside Steven Defour in the heart of midfield.

In terms of the visitors, Mourinho has to deal with the loss to injury of Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the latter of whom will reportedly not return to action again this season.

That could see the Swede miss out on a Europa League final in Stockholm next month, but it does free up a spot for Rashford to shine through the middle, as he looks to score in a third successive league game for the first time.

Mourinho hinted that Wayne Rooney could return to the fold after sitting out five games, while Ashley Young is also expected to start at Turf Moor, as the Portuguese rotates his squad following a draining midweek encounter with Anderlecht.

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Heaton; Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward; Boyd, Barton, Defour, Brady; Barnes, Gray

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Young; Fellaini, Herrera, Pogba; Lingard, Rooney, Rashford

Head To Head

United have netted the first goal on just one occasion in their last four visits to Turf Moor - a Lou Macari strike in their 1-0 win more than 40 years ago.

That was one of two victories for the Red Devils in their past 12 top-flight trips to this part of Lancashire, drawing five and losing five of the other matches.

Burnley claimed a goalless draw in the reverse encounter in October, meaning that they could go unbeaten against their opponents in a single season for the first time since 1973-74.

Sports Mole Logo© /

We say: Burnley 1-1 Manchester United

United's last outing in the league, when restricting league leaders Chelsea to just one attempt on target and bagging two goals of their own, was arguably their finest display yet under Mourinho, but more of the same is required on a consistent basis if they are to overhaul one of Manchester City or Liverpool to finish in the top four. Taking all competitions into account they have now drawn 15 games this season and, fatigued off the back of another European tussle in midweek, this could be a familiar story.

Who will win Sunday's Premier League meeting between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor?

Manchester United
Manchester United
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on the touchline ahead of the Premier League match against Sunderland on April 9, 2017
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