Manchester United’s game in hand against Burnley is finally here. The match presents an opportunity for United to go top of the table.
This would be the perfect way for United to enter the weekend’s match with Liverpool, potentially three points clear.
Many of United’s players got a rest at the weekend, with Fred and Bruno Fernandes among them. Edinson Cavani is available again after suspension and will be raring to go.
However, there are injuries to Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof and Paul Pogba to deal with, and while all three trained yesterday, they are likely to be saved with a view to potentially returning against Liverpool.
Who starts in defence?
David de Gea will probably be back in goal after missing the last two cup matches.
Alex Telles will get a start at left-back with Shaw out, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka will be on the right.
The big question is over who comes in at centre-back alongside Maguire.
Lindelof and Bailly are question-marks fitness-wise despite training yesterday, and Axel Tuanzebe is the alternative who is fully fit. He could get the nod after playing all 90 minutes at the weekend and impressing.
Maguire is also treading a disciplinary tightrope. A yellow card in this game will cause him to miss the clash at Anfield through suspension.
In midfield and up front
We expect United will go with a four man midfield here. This enables the extra quality to dominate possession, while also enabling Nemanja Matic to offer extra protection to Maguire and Tuanzebe.
Matic will come in handy for set pieces at both ends too, while Fred is a likely starter in front of him along with Bruno Fernandes.
The question remains over the extra midfield spot. Scott McTominay could start for his height for the same reasons as Matic, but this could also be a chance for Donny van de Beek to build on his weekend performance and shine in the Premier League. McTominay is more likely to start against Liverpool.
Up front Edinson Cavani’s return is particularly welcome. While it’s possible he could be used from the bench and saved for Sunday, this game suits him and United can’t look too far ahead.
He will likely partner Marcus Rashford, with Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood available from the bench.
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