Manchester United v Burnley Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
December 25, 2017
Old Trafford – Premier League
Burnley make the short trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Boxing Day for a Lancashire Derby. Both sides are high on confidence, with Burnley already having taken points at Anfield, Wembley and Stamford Bridge this season.
Man United have lost to Burnley just once in the Premier League era, back in 2009, thanks to a first-half goal from Robbie Blake. The subsequent five matches have seen alternating wins and draws for United, with the most recent edition being a 2-0 away win for the reds with goals from Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney.
The loss of Captain Antonio Valencia will be a big one for Jose Mourinho, as he has few reliable options at right-back, which could see Ashley Young fill the role against Burnley. Longer-term absentees Marouane Fellaini, Miachel Carrick and Eric Bailly remain out.
James Tarkowski’s acceptance of the FA’s violent conduct charge will keep him out until the New Year, whilst Tom Heaton, Dean Marney and Jonathan Walters all remain sidelined through injury.
Manchester United v Burnley Preview and Predictions
Tactically, this is shaping up to be an interesting game. Against the top eight, Mourinho traditionally fields a defensive team, allowing his opposition to be architects of their own downfall. However, this has been Burnley’s strategy throughout the season, to great effect, and they will go to Old Trafford prepared to hand all possession to United.
Of course, with the likes of Pogba, and Ibrahimovic, who are 19/10 and 5/6 to score anytime respectively, they have players that are capable of unlocking even the most stubborn of defenses. Yet this does not ensure victory for Mourinho’s side.
As well as a solid defense, Sean Dyche has created an impressive midfield, that has excelled at transitioning from deep defense to a rapid counter attack. With United likely to field both Pogba and one of Mata or Lingard in central midfield, Matic will be left alone to contain a lively trio of Hendrick, Cork and Defour. As much as this match will be built up as attack v defense, it is likely the midfield battle that will decide the game.
Romelu Lukaku as first goalscorer at 5/2
Against a tough Burnley defense, strength will be more useful that speed or skill, with the Belgian likely to receive a number of crosses.
United to win 2-1 at 9/1
It will be a closely contested game, and I predict both teams to get on the scoresheet.