Manchester United vs Burnley preview, betting tips and prediction: United to burst Burnley bubble at Old Trafford

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The Draw @ 24/5 with Coral

Burnley have been the surprise package in the Premier League this season, continuing to gatecrash the top six well into December and past half way into the campaign. Although Champions League qualification and trips to the Camp Nou or the Allianz Arena are still just a pipedream, the Clarets are no strangers to causing an upset. They will certainly be looking to do so again at Old Trafford where they face Manchester United on Boxing Day, too.

Victories over Chelsea and Everton as well as draws at Tottenham and Liverpool set the tone away from home for Sean Dyche’s men. They also have knowledge of how to shut out United on their own patch, having done so last season. Failure to beat teams like Burnley at home was the main reason Jose Mourinho’s men missed out on both the Premier League and the top four. Fortunately for them, they are looking much stronger this season and have enough quality to match almost everyone at home. Only their neighbours Manchester City have won at the Theatre of Dreams in the last two seasons.

While you can never rule out Burnley and they are certainly well priced for the draw at 24/5, we are backing a home win here.

Form

Dyche’s ability to gain points as well as plaudits for the glamour ties this season has been impressive, but even better has been his side’s consistency across the board. That has seen him linked with moves elsewhere, but so far he has stuck at Turf Moor and is well on the way to becoming a legend if he isn’t already. Burnley have won 1-0 six times this season, and it is that defensive strength that has seen plaudits given to James Tarkowski and Ben Mee among others this season; the team still sit sixth, a point behind Arsenal and eight off their next opponents.

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United will be smarting after getting knocked out of the Carabao Cup, a competition they won last year, and though they face Leicester before welcoming Burnley, they will be motivated to put that result against Championship high-flyers Bristol City behind them. Narrow wins over Brighton and Bournemouth at home suggest they’ve worked out a way to break these teams down and that could prove the difference against Burnley, especially because they sit so deep and cut off the spaces out wide.

Team News


Paul Pogba has been the catalyst for Manchester United’s best form this season and he should return to the side after a recent suspension.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the first goal of his second spell at the club at Ashton Gate, meaning he will be pushing for a start up front ahead of Romelu Lukaku. It remains to be seen whether Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s exile from the side will continue for another game.

Other than Tom Heaton and Jon Walters, Burnley have no fresh concerns for the trip to Old Trafford.

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