Match Preview: Burnley vs Manchester United

If you haven’t quite got over Tuesday night, fair enough. Losing 4-0 to anybody is dreadfully hard to come to terms with. When you get played off the park by a team that was only founded in 2004 one can go into a very dark place and not necessarily recover.

For me however, I’m completely over losing 4-0 to a League 1 side. Some players in that team had hardly practiced playing in a 3-5-2 formation and the others weren’t at full fitness. That defeat highlighted more the impromptu nature of the youth team as opposed to any tactical and motivational ineptitude. No wonder the boss wasn’t shocked.

It may be different for you, but this defeat won’t haunt me like last years 2-2 draw with Fulham does, or the 6-1 defeat to Manchester City. Those results will disturb me deeply for as long as I live.

Even if you keep having flashbacks to that mistake by Jonny Evans, I urge you to look ahead to brighter things with a positive mindset. Angel Di Maria will bolster Manchester United’s attacking threat to a monumental degree; Marcos Rojo is soon to be granted a work permit, several players will return after the international break, Van Gaal has stated that he will make more signings and Tom Cleverley looks set to be leaving the club. Things are only going to get better (hopefully)

Before the transfer window shuts Manchester United face a difficult away fixture at Turf Moor, after that we can solely focus on football. Our first away game following Ronaldo’s departure ended with a 1-0 defeat courtesy of a Robbie Blake wonderstike back in 2009. Sir Alex Ferguson had injury problems that day, so much in fact that Michael Carrick took a penalty (and missed)

Sean Dyche hasn’t really delved into the big money market of the transfer window this summer. Some would say that only spending 1.5 million is footballing suicide at this level, the team that Manchester United will face on Saturday is practically identical to the one that played in the Championship last season.

Funnily enough that can actually play into the hands of the Lancashire club; with the Manchester United team desperately trying to adjust to a new system and become acquainted with new players, Burnley know exactly what they are going to do. Technically, they may be light years behind Manchester United, but when it comes to collective team sprit and telepathic understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses the home team will feel that if they pull together with the support of the rabid monkeys that are Burnley’s supporters, they will have a real chance of replicating the last time these two teams met at Turf Moor.

The recruitment of Angel Di Maria this week will provide a massive psychological advantage for Manchester United. Seeing the likes of the Di Maria as well as Rooney, Van Persie, Mata and Januzaj on the team sheet could force the minnows to retreat into their shells. The opposite effect is also possible; playing a newly promoted team can introduce real issues for Louis van Gaal’s team. The ‘nothing to lose’ mentality might be a recipe for disaster against a team who are already under immense pressure.

That being said, the Lancashire club will be wary of the necessity to pick up points at home. They currently sit in 19th position and are yet to record a point following defeats to Chelsea and Swansea. The only significant absentee from the side will be Sam Vokes; the Wales striker is suffering from an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury and will spend a lengthy period on the sidelines. They can still rely on Danny Ings and Lukas Jutkiewicz when it comes to attacking potency.

Manchester United’s injury list now moves into double figures following Shinji Kagawa’s concussion against MK Dons. 10 players, 8 of which who would be strong contenders for starting the game against Burnley are still unavailable. Marcos Rojo won’t play as he is still awaiting a work permit. On the bright side Di Maria is likely to start in place of Tom Cleverley (surely?) following this game the likes of Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Chris Smalling and Rafael will come back into the fold courtesy of an international break. Players like Jonny Evans and Robin Van Persie will be back to full fitness.

The current team at Louis van Gaal’s disposal is far from favorable. His often-discussed philosophy is struggling to have its desired effect due to a severe lack of personnel and confidence within the side. That being said, the menacing figure of Di Maria will provide Manchester United with an increased chance of achieving their first win under Louis van Gaal. One thing is certain; they won’t do it the easy way.

Prediction: Burnley 0-1 Manchester United