Manchester United take on Burnley tonight at Turf Moor with high hopes of going top of the Premier League table with either a win or a draw.
The Red Devils are currently on level with Liverpool and could usurp the defending champions tonight if they avoid a defeat.
But in order to do that, they would have to go past a strong and resurgent Burnley side who have won three of their last five games in the Premier League.
Ahead of the crucial encounter, we take a look at the team news, form guide and most importantly, what is up for grabs for both teams.
Burnley vs Manchester United
Manchester United team news
Manchester United have received a major boost with the return of Edinson Cavani to the squad. The Uruguayan who joined as a free agent in the summer was fined and banned for 3 matches by the FA after sharing sharing a racially sensitive message on Instagram.
While the verdict by the FA was criticized by the Uruguay Players’ Association, the ban was upheld and saw Cavani missing United’s game against Aston Villa, Manchester City and Watford.
He has now returned, however and could play a part against Burnley today as confirmed by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer .
“Edinson has trained well when he’s been banned,” Solskjaer said. “He’s had a couple of days off, of course, as well – you can’t train too much.
“But he’s ready to go, he gives us a different option. He’s a different type of striker or forward than Mason (Greenwood), Anthony (Martial) and Marcus (Rashford), so I’m glad to have him back. That’s why we brought him in.
“He’s contributed really well so far and I’m sure he’ll be really important for us now until the end of the season. We feel the season starts tomorrow night.”
In addition to Edinson Cavani, Manchester United could also see the return of Eric Baily, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba after the quartet missed United’s latest FA Cup win over Watford.
On that, United’s manager said: “Yeah, all of them trained today.
“Paul and Eric didn’t do all of it, but Luke and Victor did all of it. I’ve got a decent amount of players to pick from. Let’s see with Paul and Eric and how they are tomorrow.”
Burnley team news
Sean Dyche’s side are not in a good place with regards to injuries and players testing positive or isolating as a result of covid-19.
Jay Rodriguez (knee), Charlie Taylor (thigh) and Dwight McNeil (groin) missed their side’s game in the FA Cup and are doubtful for the Manchester United game while a key number of players including Jack Cork, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, and forward Matej Vydra, have only returned to training after self isolating.
On the possibility of the players being involved, Sean Dyceh said:
“They’ve been double tested again and the timescale fits in. We’ve followed all the protocols so hopefully people will be available.
“The only challenge we, like many others will have is, if you’ve had players who have been locking down for 10 days and they come straight back in and are expected to play a game, and not just one game, four or five back to back.”
Manchester United have had an incredible record away from home this season and are the only Premier League side with more points (13) in their last five games.
The Red Devils have won 4 out of their last 5 matches, with the only exception being their 2-2 draw against Leicester City on boxing day. They secured wins against Sheffield United, Wolves, Leeds United, and Aston Villa in the process.
In addition to extending their unbeaten run in their last five games, Manchester United have the added incentive of going top of the league table with a win or draw before they play Liverpool on Sunday.
For Burnley, although a win will not move them up the Premier League table, they will open up a good gap between themselves and the teams in and around the relegation zone. They currently lie in 16th position with 16 points.
Nine of those 16 points have come from their last five matches, indicating their resurgence lately. Their only loss have come against Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United and have secured wins against Wolves, Arsenal and Sheffield United in their last five games.
Below is the predicted line-ups for both sides.
Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters, Brady; Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Barnes, Wood
Manchester United (4-2-3-1)
De Gea; Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, Fred; Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Martial; Cavani
Kick off time:
Referee: Kevin Friend,
Assistants: Simon Beck and Adrian Holmes
Fourth official: Peter Banke
VAR official: Stuart Attwell
Who is the favorite to win this game? Share your comments in the section below