By 90Min
September 01, 2018

Eyes will be on the sky as well as the pitch when Burnley face Manchester United at Turf Moor on Sunday in the last Premier League game before the international break.

Some United fans have paid for a plane to fly over during the match, bearing a message demanding the resignation of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who has been at loggerheads with manager Jose Mourinho about a shortage of transfer activity in the summer.

Burnley will hope to capitalise on United's current state of disarray as they seek their first league win of the season, following their Europa League exit on Thursday.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of an important match for both sides.

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Burnley defied underdog status and a thin squad to finish seventh last season and qualify for European competition for the first time in half a century, but it appears to have backfired in the early stages of this season. 

In trying to balance Europa League and Premier League commitments, Burnley have suffered on both fronts. They have taken just one point from three league matches, and their European tour came to a premature end this week with a 4-2 aggregate defeat to Olympiacos.

Manchester United have not fared much better. A 2-1 win over Leicester on the opening day of the season gave them hope that their turbulent summer would not have any impact on performances, but the last two matches have seen the gloom return with a vengeance.

United's defence was shambolic in a 3-2 defeat at Brighton, and they caved in again last Monday when Tottenham scored three second half goals without reply at Old Trafford to leave the Red Devils with three points from three games.

In short, both teams need a result.

Classic Encounter

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Burnley 1-0 Manchester United (19 August 2009, Premier League)

Last season's 2-2 draw at Old Trafford was the most entertaining meeting between these two sides in the Premier League, but this clash from 2009 will live much longer in the memories of Clarets supporters.

Burnley were hosting their first ever Premier League match, having returned to the top flight after 33 years away. Manchester United had won the last three league titles and were chasing an unprecedented fourth in a row.

But it was the newly-promoted side who produced a moment of world-class quality that decided the game. A deep cross into the United box was only half-cleared and Robbie Blake lashed an unstoppable effort past Edwin van der Sar.

Blake went from hero to zero by conceding a penalty on the stroke of half time, but he was redeemed by Brian Jensen, who dived to his right to keep out Michael Carrick's spot kick. Burnley held on to secure a win which showed that they belonged among the elite.

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Burnley have stuck with the same team for all three of their Premier League matches so far, but will not be able to do so again with Johann Berg Gudmundsson injured. 

Steven Defour and Robbie Brady are not yet fit enough to replace him, so young midfielder Dwight McNeil could be rewarded for his excellent performance on Thursday with a first league start.

Jose Mourinho has named two different centre back pairings in each of United's last two matches and neither has fared well. Phil Jones has been ruled out after he limped off with a possible hamstring injury against Tottenham. 

There will surely be no repeat of the bizarre and unsuccessful experiment which saw Ander Herrera slot in as a centre back on Monday. Right back Diogo Dalot is inching closer to fitness but remains sidelined for now. 

Predicted Starting Lineups

Burnley (4-2-3-1): Hart; Ward, Mee, Tarkowski, Lowton; Westwood, Cork; McNeil, Hendrick, Lennon; Wood

Manchester United (4-3-3): De Gea; Shaw, Bailly, Lindelof, Valencia; Pogba, Matic, Fred; Sanchez, Lukaku, Mata


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This is a huge match for Manchester United. A third consecutive defeat would really ramp up the pressure on Mourinho, and with an international break to follow he would have two whole weeks to stew on it.

Burnley don't need to panic. It's early days in the season and their Europa League exit should ease the strain on the team - but they do need to stop leaking goals. 7 goals conceded in their last two Premier League games is uncharacteristic for a team who were so sturdy last year.

With six of Sunday's probable starting lineup having featured on Thursday, Burnley will be feeling the strain. They gave their all against Olympiacos and those extra three days of rest for United could make all the difference.

Plus, whatever turmoil they are going through, this is still Manchester United. When the chips are down and the pressure is on, they know how to grind out a victory.

Prediction: Burnley 1-2 Manchester United

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