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Preview: Manchester United vs. Burnley - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Manchester United vs. Burnley - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Wednesday's Premier League fixture between Manchester United and Burnley.
By , Senior Reporter | 1mo

Manchester United play host to Burnley on Wednesday night looking to respond to losing out at Premier League leaders Liverpool at the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Clarets make the trip to Old Trafford having ended a run of four successive defeats with a comeback victory over Leicester City.

Match preview

While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will take the positives from pushing Liverpool close on Sunday afternoon, the 2-0 defeat at Anfield was their third away setback in the Premier League in four attempts.

United have now also failed to trouble the scorers in each of their last three away matches in all competitions, also drawing a blank versus Arsenal on New Year's Day and against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup.

The continuation of that poor return has been made worse by the news that Marcus Rashford will miss a minimum of six weeks with a back injury, leaving Solskjaer to consider his options in the final third.

With Bruno Fernandes and a short-term replacement for Rashford unlikely to arrive before Wednesday, it puts the onus on Anthony Martial to rediscover his touch in front of goal.

Despite contributing 11 strikes in all competitions, the Frenchman has scored just once from his last four starts, potentially leaving Solskjaer to contemplate moving the attacker out wide to accommodate Mason Greenwood.

The Norwegian will also have concerns over the performances of Daniel James, who has failed to build on his exciting start to the season down the right flank.

While the 22-year-old is still chipping in with regular assists, he has not found the back of the net since August 31, strengthening the argument that Solskjaer must act in the transfer market.

From a defensive standpoint, United have shipped fewer goals in recent weeks, although they were perhaps fortunate to only concede twice to Liverpool at the weekend.

Nevertheless, the games continue to come thick and fast for Solskjaer and his players, and they will provide the United boss with more opportunities to find a way to improve his inconsistent team.

As far as Burnley are concerned, Sean Dyche will relish the opportunity of a trip to the Theatre of Dreams after their impressive triumph over Leicester.

The Clarets had looked on their way to a fifth successive Premier League setback at half time, only for Chris Wood and Ashley Westwood to score the goals which have moved the club away from the relegation zone.

Burnley now have a five-point cushion over the bottom three and with some of their rivals playing each other over the next few days, there is an opportunity to move further clear ahead of the upcoming winter break.

Dyche's biggest task is to make up for the absence of Ashley Barnes, with only the injured attacker and Wood contributing more than three goals in the Premier League this season.

Despite talk of a move to a bigger club, Dwight NcNeil has not provided a goal or assist since November 9 - something which will need to change with Barnes out for the foreseeable future.

At the other end of the pitch, six matches have gone by since their last clean sheet, which came on the road against goal-shy Bournemouth.

Nevertheless, given the resolve shown against the Foxes, Dyche will have confidence that his backline can become the latest team to shut out a misfiring United attack.

Manchester United Premier League form: LWWLWL
Manchester United form (all competitions): LDLWWL

Burnley Premier League form: WLLLLW
Burnley form (all competitions): LLLWLW

Team News

With Rashford out of contention, Greenwood should be recalled to the side, either down the right flank or through the middle.

Solskjaer is also likely to hand another start to Juan Mata, who starred in an attacking midfield role against Wolves last week.

Despite being used further forward versus Liverpool, Brandon Williams could be restored to the left-back position in place of Luke Shaw.

Providing that there are no late injury issues, Burnley boss Dyche may opt to select an unchanged starting lineup.

Aaron Lennon and Robbie Brady are options should Dyche switch to a midfield five.

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams; Matic, Fred; James, Mata, Martial; Greenwood

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Pope; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood

Head To Head

Wednesday's meeting will represent the 130th competitive fixture between the two clubs, with United claiming 62 victories in comparison to 44 for Burnley.

Despite faring relatively well historically, the Clarets have gone 10 matches without a win against their fellow North-West side.

However, they have claimed a share of the spoils on their last three visits to Old Trafford, two of which have ended in 2-2 scorelines.

We say: Manchester United 2-1 Burnley

Despite their contrasting fortunes at the weekend, United remain favourites to prevail here. Burnley should push their hosts all the way, although we feel that United's superior class will shine through in the closing stages.

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