Fans in Focus: Burnley vs Manchester United

Burnley play host to Manchester United on Sunday, in a game which could have huge implications at both ends of the table.

Both Sean Dyche, and Jose Mourinho will be keen to pick up the three points, which for the Clarets, would secure their Premier League status, and for the Red Devils, keep their top four hopes firmly alive.

In front of a capacity crowd at Turf Moor, the game looks set to be a real humdinger of an affair, and with the Sky camera’s in town, there is always an extra buzz around the ground, which is sure to make it a magical afternoon, whatever the result.

Before the game, I caught up with fans of both sides to gauge their views ahead of Sunday’s clash…

Burnley fan – Matt Lane (@FFMattLane) Be sure to check out Matt on twitter for all his views on Burnley!

We currently sit on 36 points. Do you think that will be enough to stay up or will it take one more win?

I think we could stay up on 36 points, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be looking to win every game from now until the end of the season and I think Dyche will drill that into the players. We have already broken our best PL total and can realistically pick up points in every league game left. I don’t think 2 of Boro, Hull and Swansea will be able to achieve 36pts and better our goal difference.
With the exception of Tottenham, we’ve seen all the big teams come to Turf Moor and struggle, with just two of them scraping wins. Do you feel the Turf Moor atmosphere will give us an advantage on Sunday?
I absolutely do. In their two previous visits they have lost and drawn and failed to score in each of them so I hope that run continues. United put their best performance of the season in v Chelsea but they have the Anderlecht game just before us and that’s followed by City away so I think we will be the lowest priority for them and I hope that plays to our advantage.
We have been on a relatively poor run lately, picking up just one win since the start of February, but Sean Dyche hasn’t made many changes. Would you be tempted to switch things up a bit? If so, how?  
I think although our form looks weak we have turned in some solid performances both home and away and the players morale won’t be low. If we can get Gudmundsson onto the field for any period of time it would be a positive as he is direct and technically one of our best players. Other than that, I was happy with the way the team worked against Everton and would stick to the same players and system.
What do you expect we will see of United on Sunday?
It’s tricky because of their fixture congestion. I think the Europa League holds more importance than Mourinho is letting on and he will put out his best team to make sure they get through. Ideally, it’s a tense affair going to extra time and he’ll be forced into making changes. There’s a chance Zlatan won’t start against us but in a way I fear Rashford more. I would also expect our odds on winning to improve if Pogba starts – he was dire at the game in Manchester earlier in the season!
How do you see the game panning out and what is your score prediction?
Like most home games I expect us to keep it tight early on and wear down the opposition. If we can frustrate the fans and Mourinho it will definitely give us a good chance. I hope Ashley Barnes is up for the game as he will be the chief nuisance creator. I believe we can get all three points and Man U shouldn’t take us lightly, but they will and we will run out 2-0 winners, with Jose being sent to the stands as his frustration boils over!
Manchester United Fan Page – Old Trafford Faithful (@OTFaithful) Be sure to check out their website for all the latest news and opinions on Manchester United! Click HERE to visit their site!
How important is a win for United on Sunday, especially given that four of the other sides in contention for a top four spot are in FA Cup action?
A win is huge. Although we’re in the Europa League semi-finals, Mourinho is still pushing hard for a spot in the top four. We’re still four points off of the pace but we do have a game in hand over City (who we play on Thursday). It won’t be easy though, particularly after playing extra-time against Anderlecht.
After Thursday night’s Europa League victory over Anderlecht, do you expect Mourinho will rotate the squad on Sunday?
The gaffer did decide to rest Ander Herrera and a couple of others, though, so hopefully we’ll have enough in the tank to come to Turf Moor and get some sort of positive result. I’d also expect Marouane Fellaini to come back into the mix; he’s been superb recently. David de Gea has been our Premier League goalkeeper so he’ll also start. The issue comes with our injuries piling up. Right now, the only fit centre-back we have is Eric Bailly. I’d give my left leg to have Michael Keane on our books right about now…
Do you feel United have any weaknesses that Burnley could potentially expose?
The centre-back spot, namely whoever Mourinho chooses to play alongside Bailly. Blind came on as the substitute there at the weekend, but don’t be surprised to see a youngster like Tim Fosu-Mensah or Axel Tuanzebe come into the team. Both of those guys are supremely talented, but they haven’t played much football this term and that will be a concern.
What should Burnley fans expect of United on Sunday?
A counter-attacking system, whilst trying to keep it very tight at the back. We witnessed a true Mourinho masterclass against Chelsea, and the boss will be going for something similar here. Our pace on the counter attack is truly frightening, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see even more speed added with Martial coming in for the injured Ibrahimovic.
How do you see the game panning out and what is your score prediction?
It’ll be tight, I’ve no doubt about that. With my red-tinted spectacles on, I’ve gone for a 2-1 Manchester United victory. It’ll be tough to keep The Clarets quiet for 90, particularly with the home crowd behind them. I just think that we’ll have too much creativity and raw talent in the final third though, and if it all clicks into gear then we *should* win.

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