Wed. Jan 20th, 2021

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How Manchester United should line up vs Burnley

3 min read

Manchester United will take top spot in the Premier League as long as they avoid defeat by Burnley tonight.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to build upon their recent momentum as they make the trip to Turf Moor, having beaten Watford in the FA Cup on Saturday night.

United are the only side still unbeaten away from home in the Premier League this season, winning six of their seven games so far. In total, they are unbeaten in their last 14 league games on the road, their longest run since January 2011.

In terms of early team news, Edinson Cavani is back following a three-game suspension while Paul Pogba, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw are also available having missed the weekend win through injury.

Here is how our writers think United should line up against the Clarets…

Samuel Luckhurst

One of the dilemmas for United is they do not have another centre half who is as physical as Harry Maguire and they are up against Burnley’s bruise brothers of Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood. Eric Bailly, brittle though he is, is maybe the best option. It’s all change at full-back and David de Gea deserves to come back in.

The trusted trio of Scott McTominay, Fred and Bruno Fernandes has the right balance to counter Burnley’s direct style, though Solskjaer might opt for one of Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba for the aerial duels.

Edinson Cavani needs to come in as the centre forward, Mason Greenwood has not been cutting it so Marcus Rashford is needed on the right again, which means Anthony Martial is reprieved.



Ten changes
Ten changes

Dominic Booth

Solskjaer suggested Lindelof would be fit, so he should start alongside Harry Maguire as United’s most reliable centre-back duo. De Gea is an automatic first choice pick in goal as things stand, while Shaw represents the more solid left-back option as well.

Solskjaer may want to save his Fred-McTominay partnership for Liverpool, so with the Scot having played against Watford, a defensive midfield axis of Fred and Nemanja Matic should suffice. Matic has registered good displays at Turf Moor in the past.



Greenwood is still United’s best right-winger, and it’s also the best position for him at the moment amid a lean spell of form as a No.9. Cavani in for Martial is an obvious pick as the Uruguayan becomes available again — so too are the recalls for Fernandes and Rashford.

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Rich Fay

There might be a bigger game on Sunday but a positive result at Anfield would bring with it retrospective frustration if United drop points at Burnley, so they have to go with as strong a team as possible.

Late fitness tests could influence United’s XI, but even if fit a few players shouldn’t be risked unless totally match ready. Tuanzebe would benefit from playing meaningful minutes alongside Maguire, while Telles’ attacking threat makes him a logical choice at left-back.



Fred, McTominay and Fernandes remains the best midfield trio at the club and Solskjaer should embrace his side’s attacking flair with the formation to match.

Up top Cavani is a certainty having served his three-match ban while Rashford and Martial should both start and be subbed early if the three points are secure.

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