Three questions for Manchester United ahead of facing Burnley

Manchester United will be looking to get back to winning ways against Burnley in midweek.

United saw off Burnley 2-0 over the festive period, but the Clarets got back on form on Sunday with a 2-1 comeback win over Leicester.

There are plenty of questions for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to answer if he is to complete the league double and we’ve picked out three of the most pressing.

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Will James get rough treatment again?

Daniel James was fouled five times in the festive meeting at Turf Moor (WhoScored) as Sean Dyche’s side struggled to cope with his pace.

It’s not the first time that’s happened – the league game at Molineux in August also springs to mind.

But will Solskjaer try and protect James? And will Burnley take the same hardline approach with him?

Solskjaer doesn’t have too many alternatives now Marcus Rashford is out, but James looks like he needs a rest as well.

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Can United break the run of draws?

United’s last three league meetings with Burnley at Old Trafford have ended in draws, most recently a 2-2 last January.

The Reds have slipped behind the last two times they have hosted Burnley, forcing late comebacks. Solskjaer must find a way to break that home hoodoo.

United have drawn too many this season and struggled to beat teams they are better than.

Solskjaer still needs to prove he has the answers to that conundrum, and Burnley have proved awkward customers at Old Trafford in recent years.

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Williams or Shaw?

Now that Luke Shaw is back from injury, it’s a straight fight between him and Brandon Williams at left back, so long as Solskjaer goes back to a four-man defence.

The pair both played at Anfield, but it seems unlikely that that’ll happen too often.

Given Williams played well at Turf Moor as United kept a clean sheet, and offers superior attacking intent, he should really get the nod.

But Solskjaer has managed Williams carefully and may elect to go for Shaw’s experience and continue his return from injury.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.