Ralph Rangnick may be unbeaten so far in his tenure at Man Utd, but he must now have a sense of the scale of the task he faces following a dispiriting draw away at Newcastle.
Despite the array of attacking talent available, the team once again lacked cutting edge, with Cristiano Ronaldo cutting an isolated and visibly frustrated figure.
In fact, they managed just four shots on target, half of what the relegation-threatened Magpies were able to muster, despite Eddie Howe losing key forwards Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin to injury during the game.
Man Utd have switched to a narrow 4-2-2-2 formation under Ralph Rangnick and all four of their games under the German have been low-scoring affairs. In fact, six of the Red Devils’ past seven matches have now seen fewer than three goals, as they’re yet to score more than once in any of their four games with the new man in the dugout.
Burnley may have games in hand over their relegation rivals after their past three matches were all postponed, but they’ve managed just a solitary league victory all season and they’re going to need to convert some of their draws into wins.
The Clarets are a desperately poor W1-D8-L9 in league action stretching back into May, though seven of those defeats came in the first eight of those games.
With seven stalemates from their past 10 matches, including against current top-half sides Leicester, Chelsea, Palace, Wolves and West Ham – at least prior to Brighton’s trip to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday – Sean Dyche’s team are certainly capable of keeping things tight.
Under 2.5 Goals
Four of Burnley’s past five games have seen fewer than three goals, with just a solitary strike across the past three outings, and with Man Utd lacking thrust at the sharp end at present, a low-scoring affair would come as no surprise.
Indeed, seven of 10 head-to-heads since 2016/17 have seen fewer than three goals, including three of four since 2019/20.
Man United To Win 1-0
The return of Edinson Cavani from injury will be a welcome sight to Man Utd fans, though they’ll be without Bruno Fernandes here after the midfielder picked up his fifth booking of the campaign against Newcastle.
Raphael Varane also returned in that encounter, but Eric Bailly may take his place with the short turnaround between games, especially after the French international looked well below his usual standards after his spell on the sidelines.
Victor Lindelof has tested positive for covid, but Utd’s problems appear to be creating chances at the other end, especially considering the low-scoring nature of their visitors here.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS
MAN UNITED TO WIN 1-0