Manchester United’s 3-0 hammering at home to Tottenham Hotspur last time out was boss Jose Mourinho’s worst ever home defeat as a club manager. It also meant back-to-back defeats for United – the first time that has happened since September 2016.
With the sword of Damocles hanging over him, another defeat to Burnley could well leave Mourinho unemployed by Monday morning. But the Clarets haven’t started well themselves, picking up only one point from the first nine available.
The strain of Europa League football already appears to be weighing Burnley down. The second leg of their qualifier against Greek side Olympiakos comes only three days before this clash, while United have a full week to rid themselves of their Spurs horror show. A narrow 2-1 United could be in the offing.
Both teams to score at 6/5
Manchester United’s defence is in disarray. In consecutive losses to Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur, Mourinho’s side have conceded six times. Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof featured in the 3-2 defeat to the Seagulls before they were dropped in favour of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones for the Spurs match, to no avail.
Burnley, renowned for their defensive solidity, have been uncharacteristically leaky too. Fulham powered four past them at the weekend and both Watford and Olympiakos managed to break through three times.
With that in mind, odds of 6/5 for both defences to fail again are tremendous.
James Tarkowski to score first at 55/1
This may be a real punt but it could pay dividends.
Burnley central defender Tarkowski hadn’t scored a single goal for the Clarets before the start of this season, but he’s already netted twice in the Premier League this time around against Watford and Fulham.
Manchester United’s defensive organisation is in tatters and Tottenham’s Harry Kane took advantage of that to break the deadlock at a set piece in their last match. Tarkowski is 55/1 to do the same.
Head to Head
Manchester United have a good record at Burnley and have only been beaten once there in recent years – the season that the Clarets were promoted back to the top flight in 2009.
United have won two and drawn one of the consequent fixtures at Turf Moor, winning 1-0 there last season thanks to the now out-of-favour Anthony Martial’s goal.
Manchester United and Burnley have played eight times in the Premier League, with the Clarets winning just once.
Burnley have not scored in their last three home matches against Manchester United.
Luke Shaw has had the most touches of any Manchester United player in the Premier League so far (271).
No Premier League player has been flagged offside more than Chris Wood so far this season (6).
Only West Ham United and Huddersfield Town conceded more goals in their opening three matches than Manchester United and Burnley.