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PREVIEW: Burnley v Manchester United

Build-up as the Clarets look to end 2019 on a high at Turf Moor

28 December 2019

Burnley bring down the curtain on 2019 with a big date against Manchester United.

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The Clarets haven’t beaten United at home since their first taste of the Premier League in 2009.

But they have traditionally pushed the 20-time champions hard and have taken points from them in every top-flight season since.

The Clarets’ home form has also been impressive during a productive 12 months with Sean Dyche’s men looking for sixth success of the current campaign on their own ground.

United have won just twice away – although only two league defeats since early October have kept Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s evolving side in touch with the Premier League’s top four.

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A 4-1 Boxing Day win over Newcastle at Old Trafford – with the fit and firing Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both on target – made it a comfortable Christmas for Solskjaer’s men.

But Dyche wants them to know they will be in a game on Saturday night as the Clarets look to finish the year in style.

“It’s a big one for us for different reasons,” said the Burnley boss.

“On the pitch you want to win, of course, and get points on the board.

“Off the pitch with the crowd it’s always a big thing for the fans playing Manchester United, under the lights and around the Christmas period, which sets it up nicely.

“But we know they’re no mugs. They’ve had a funny time - a little bit inconsistent  by their standards - but they’ve still got some top players.

“We know it’s certainly know it’s not a walk in the park. But we like what we’re doing, and we like being at Turf Moor with our fans behind us, so hopefully it makes for what’s going to be a good night for us.”

Team news

Johann Berg Gudmundsson returned to the Clarets squad at Everton for the first time since October and could again feature, while Jeff Hendrick is available again after a one-match ban.

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Former Everton winger Aaron Lennon could play his 50th game for Burnley, if he recovers form illness.

Czech striker Matej Vydra could also be added to the squad after the birth of his first child over Christmas.

Defender Ben Gibson remains sidelined, but is close to returning from a groin strain.

United look likely to be without midfielder Scott McTominay, who limped out of the Boxing Day win over Newcastle. Fit-again Paul Pogba could deputise.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has no other injury worries, and could add several players who missed out against the Magpies to the squad travelling to Turf Moor.

Form guide

The Clarets head towards the new year in yo-yo fashion, with the defeat at Everton on Boxing Day following on from back-to-back wins over Newcastle and at Bournemouth.

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However, their impressive total of seven clean sheets in the 2019/20 season is only equalled by Leicester City.

United have lost just one of their last eight Premier League games, juggling domestic matters with Europa League and Carabao Cup commitments.

That revival has put them firmly back into contention for the European placings, sitting just a point behind fifth placed Spurs and a further three behind Chelsea, who currently occupy the fourth and final Champions league place.

Opposition camp

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “We’re probably in the best position to perform on Saturday. One - we knew the (Newcastle) game was over after 45 minutes. Two - we’re young, so we’re in with a great chance at Burnley to perform to our best level.

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“I think the average age of the outfield players on Saturday was 23 and that will make it easier for us to recover.

“I think Burnley played to the end against Everton and I think we were done after 45 minutes and used the second half as a recovery [period].”

Match stats

The Clarets have not drawn a league game for 12 matches spanning three months.

Burnley haven't lost their last league game in a calendar year since 2012.

United have won just two of their last 13 Premier League away games (D4, L7).

They are on a 14-match Premier League run without a clean sheet, and their tally of two this season is the fewest in the division.

Four of Marcus Rashford's 11 Premier League goals this season have been winners - only Mohamed Salah has scored more.

Referee

Mike Dean

VAR

Michael Oliver

Kick-off

Saturday, 7.45pm


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