By 90Min
December 25, 2017

Sean Dyche's Burnley side travel to Old Trafford on Boxing Day as they take on Manchester United in what is set to be a hard-fought encounter.

United currently sit second on the table, 13 points behind leader Manchester City, while Burnley sit comfortably in seventh place, three points adrift of the top four.

While United's hope for a title surge seems to be dwindling with City's lead at the top continuing to grow, Burnley seem to be growing in both confidence and form.

Here's everything you need to know going into the fixture.


Previous Encounters

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The last time Burnley beat Manchester United was the 19th of August 2009 where they defeated the Reds 1-0. An early goal from Robbie Blake was enough to secure all three points for the home side after the Clarets were able to contain United's attacking prowess.

Since then, United have won three of the five encounters while the other two have ended in goalless draws.

Their last encounter ended in a 2-0 victory for Jose Mourinho's men, with goals from both Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial, and the win extended United's unbeaten run to 23-games.


Key Battles

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Romelu Lukaku vs Ben Mee

United forward Romelu Lukaku has had a mixed spell at United since his arrival in the summer and will be eager to prove his worth to Mourinho with a strong performance against Burnley. Although the Belgian forward has scored 10 goals in the season so far, he has often struggled to make an impact in important games, receiving criticism from fans and critics.

However, Mourinho has stuck by his striker, insisting on starting the 24-year-old on a consistent basis and Tuesday will be the perfect opportunity for Lukaku to display his talent and get back on the scoresheet.

Ben Mee will be the man tasked with stopping the former Everton man and he will need to be on top of his game in order to do so. Whether or not he is successful in keeping the forward dormant could determine the result of the game but Mee has shown that he has the ability to defend against the Premier League's best all season.


Team News

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Burnley have no fresh injury problems but will be without defensive anchor James Tarkowski who is currently serving a three-match ban for violent conduct.

United, on the other hand, have been plagued by injuries all season and their league form has suffered as a result of it.  Long-term absentee Eric Bailly has been a huge loss for Mourinho's side and will not return until March next year.

To add to these struggles, Mourinho also revealed that captain Antonio Valencia may also miss out on the festive games after suffering from an injury.


Potential Manchester United Line-up: De Gea, Lindelof, Smalling, Jones, Young, Matic, Pogba, Rashford, Martial, Mata, Lukaku.


Burnley's Potential Line-up: Pope, Bardsley, Mee, Long, Ward, Gudmundsson, Cork, Defour, Brady, Hendrick, Wood.


Prediction

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Sean Dyche is currently enjoying life at Turf Moor and a trip to Old Trafford is something his side will relish, as they can pose a big threat to a vulnerable United side. Although Burnley come off a disappointing 3-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur, they have a lot to be positive about and could compete with any team on their day.

This will be something that the United boss will be aware off, meaning that we could see a tight game that goes right down to the wire. However, such a game could spark trouble for the Red Devils who have suffered disappointing results in their last two games due to stoppage time goals.


Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Burnley

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