Burnley and Man Utd play today at Turf Moor, with the game kicking off at 3pm. Burnley are seventh in the table, while Man Utd are second.
After an extraordinary start to the season, Burnley have found a win hard to come by in recent weeks. They’ve gone six league games without a win, and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Man City during that run. Their dip in form hasn’t seen them slip down the league though. They’re still in seventh, but they were once level on points with Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal. They now find themselves 13 points behind Liverpool, and it shows how good they were in the first half of the season since they’ll actually be disappointed with that. I think a bit of a drop off in form was always going to happen though, because there was no way they could have kept that form up all season. A few injuries has seen their squad stretched a bit, but they are in the middle of a deal to bring Aaron Lennon in from Everton to give them another option on the wing. We’ll see if they can return to the form that they showed in the first half of the season and continue their push for a Europa League place.
Sean Dyche, who will manage his 100th Premier League game today, said:
I’m pleased with that and particularly pleased that it’s part of Burnley Football Club.
We’ve managed as a group, through dual chairmen when I started and now a single chairman in Mike (Garlick), the board, two chief executives I’ve worked with, the staff and the players.
They have all played a part in getting where we’ve got to.
It’s not easy to be in the Premier League, for a starter, and then to have 100 games, I’m very pleased with that on behalf of everyone.
Burnley are without Chris Wood, Stephen Ward and Jon Walters, but Scott Arfield and Charlie Taylor are in contention.
Man Utd are second, and are 12 points behind Man City after Liverpool beat the runaway league leaders last week. It’s highly unlikely that they’ll manage to catch their rivals, but if they can keep winning you never know what will happen. Cutting the gap to nine points could see City under a bit of pressure, but you wouldn’t imagine they’ll have any problems against Newcastle in the day’s late kick-off. All United can do is keep winning and see where they end up though. It’s going to be a tricky game for them today, even though Burnley haven’t been in the best of form lately. Turf Moor is never an easy place to go, and Burnley are a match for anybody there. United will want to get in, get the win, and get out. It’s not the ind of place you go looking to put on a show, and I don’t think this will be an easy game for them.
United’s players could be boosted by the imminent arrival of Alexis Sanchez. Their wingers will know that he’s likely to go straight into the team, so they’ll be looking to impress and keep their places. United are on a seven-game unbeaten run since losing to Man City in December, and they’ll be looking to turn that into eight today.
Jose Mourinho spoke to MUTV about Burnley, and said: “They are doing very well – you look to the points and the table, they are stable, high in the competition and far from relegation. They play well in their style, whether you like or dislike, they’re good at what they do. Especially at home, they are a very difficult opponent.”
United will be without Daley Blind, Eric Bailly, Michael Carrick and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but Ashley Young returns from suspension. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been left out of the squad ahead of his transfer to Arsenal.
I think this will be quite an interesting game. United will have to be at their best if they’re going to come out of this one with the three points. Burnley are so strong at home, and even though they haven’t been at their best lately they can still cause United problems. We’ll see how it goes.