Manchester United vs Burnley
Friday, 28 October, 2016
Wednesday’s win against Manchester City was much needed, but did it teach us much about Jose Mourinho’s side? Not really.
Despite the morale boosting victory against their city rivals, the Blues did play a few kids against a very strong first-team put out by Mourinho after that demolition by Chelsea just a few days earlier.
If anything, the win throws up more questions than answers, such as why Morgan Schneiderlin can’t get make the team-sheet, or even less the match day squad at times, after impressing in a short cameo off the bench.
The exact same question, debatably more so, would be asked about Michael Carrick, who ran the game against the under-strength City side.
Every time Carrick’s played this season, he’s been excellent despite not having a run of games to build of his match fitness.
Mourinho’s reasoning of not wanting to over-play him is understandable, but it doesn’t explain why he doesn’t play in the biggest games yet Marouane Fellaini does.
The match against City also showed United still lack a clear identity of how they want to play, despite improved performances by Ibrahimovic and Pogba, there was still a disconnect between the wide-men such as Rashford and Mata, with finding their Swedish striker in the middle.
Mourinho will be hoping his side can put a few past Burnley, however it seems they’re gathering momentum with each point they take in the Premier League.
With former Red Devil Michael Keane impressing, it’ll be a well deserved welcome return for the defender after he was left as a reserve.
Will Mourinho finally trust Mkhitaryan to fill a spot on the bench? Will Ibrahimovic end his goal drought?
We can only wait and see, but nevertheless, United have had a bang average October, and seeing it out with a win is the only possible result if they want to stay in the title race.
The big news is that Ivorian Eric Bailly announced earlier this week that he expects to be out for two months after he picked up a knee injury if the heavy defeat to Chelsea.
Wayne Rooney and Chris Smalling could return to the side after they missed the win against City.
For Burnley, striker Andre Gray is expected to return after finally serving his four match ban for previous abusive social media posts.
Scottish midfielder George Boyd is fit after recovering from a knee problem and Steven Defour is ‘touch and go’ after picking up a hamstring problem.
Man Utd: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Blind; Carrick, Herrera, Pogba, Lingard, Rashford, Ibrahimovic
Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Flanagan; Gudmundsson, Marney, Hendrick, Arfield; Vokes, Gray