It’s fair to say that the last few days haven’t been great for Manchester United.
Monday’s 3-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur created a predictable storm across a variety of platforms, but the team has an ideal opportunity to steady the ship this weekend.
The Red Devils make the short trip to Turf Moor to face a Burnley side whose Premier League form has been even worse than United’s.
It took Clarets’ manager Sean Dyche until after Sunday’s 4-2 defeat at Fulham to acknowledge that his side’s involvement in the Europa League was affecting their domestic form and United are more than capable of adding to their woes this weekend.
Burnley have a mountain to climb in the second leg of their Europa League qualifying tie against Olympiakos on Thursday, with the Greek side holding a 3-1 advantage, and fatigue is likely to take its toll three days later.
United simply couldn’t ask for a better set of circumstances to regain the winning thread. While they are favourites to pick up three points, punters can take advantage of slightly more generous odds than usual with a coupon from cozino.
Mourinho’s side won 1-0 on their last visit to Turf Moor, taking their record to just one defeat in their last 25 meetings with Burnley in all competitions.
United’s failure to sign a top-class centre-half this summer has been brutally exposed over the past couple of games and Mourinho simply must find a way to resolve United’s defensive issues.
Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof failed to impress against Brighton the previous week, while Chris Smalling and Phil Jones didn’t do themselves any favours against Spurs.
Jones picked up an injury on Monday to leave Mourinho with a selection headache for this weekend.
Arguably his best option would be to switch to a three-man defence with Bailly, Lindelof and Smalling together. Although it’s not an ideal solution it may help in the short term.
Valencia and Shaw could be given licence to push on in the wide areas, hopefully safe in the knowledge that there would be adequate cover at the back.
Fred probably needs to be pulled out of the firing line for his own good leaving Matic, Pogba and Lingard to fill the midfield berths.
Lukaku and Sanchez should be unleashed together up front with orders to terrorise Burnley’s shaky backline.
United have enough talent to demolish Burnley, collectively they need to find a way to do just that.
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.