Burnley v Manchester United
Sunday April 23 14:15 
Live on Sky Sports 1


Sean Dyche knows it's not done job done just yet but they're almost there. Sorry for repeating myself every time I have to preview one of their games but their home and away performances really have been like night and day.

Opta tell us their record so far of 32 points from 16 home games is the best by a promoted side since Charlton in 2001/2.

Assuming Burnley stay up, one area Dyche might look to strengthen is in terms of finding goalscoring midfielders. George Boyd and Jeff Hendrick each have two but no-one else has more than one. If Swansea are relegated, the Burnley boss could do worse than making an inquiry about Gylfi Sigurdsson, who has eight goals already. You can't imagine the Euro 2016 star would want to be playing in The Championship and might not fancy at a big club after a disappointing experience at Tottenham a few years ago.

Dean Marney misses out while Scott Arfield and Sam Vokes are doubtful for this game.

Manchester United 

It's taken a while but Jose Mourinho is gradually turning this confused squad of players - who quite clearly never worked out what Louis van Gaal's famed 'philosophy' any more than the rest of us - into a united team.

Rather like with what happened in his second spell at Chelsea, the first year is about clearing up a mess, the second is about going for that title. But that's for another day.

Right now he has a side who hasn't lost a match in eight, is high on confidence but very weary. Yes, he was able to rotate a bit in their excellent 2-0 win over Chelsea but there will be some tired legs amongst the likes of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Antonio Valencia after their extra-time win over Anderlecht on Thursday night, having all also started at home to Chelsea.

Worse still, he'll certainly be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo for a while. They both hobbled off injured in that match.

Match Odds

What kind of a Blackjack player are you, Mourinho? He can stick and rest some players here with that big match against Man City coming up next Thursday as part of a spell of four matches in 11 days. (three in the league plus the first leg of the Europa League semis). Or he can twist, playing his strongest possible side here and believing he can still finish in the Top Four in the Premier League as well as going all out in the Europa League. Then hope one of those two routes brings him Champions League football next year.

In the end I think his hand will be forced and he'll have to give four or five players who featured on Thursday night a break. That might mean bringing in the likes of Anthony Martial and Marouane Fellaini and I'm not sure they're up to the standard of those they're coming in to replace.

Add to the equation United's poor record at Turf Moor that has seen them score just once there in their last four visits and they may just find it as tough to win here as everyone else. Man Utd are an attractive lay at 1.70.

Both teams to score

If you wanted to go with 'no' on both teams to score, recent stats would certainly be in your favour. Eight of Manchester United's last 12 matches have seen at least one team failing to score and that would also have paid out in five of Burnley's last seven matches.

All of which makes 1.77 on 'no' a solid looking bet rather than outstanding value.

To Score 

Marcus Rashford seems like the sort of striker who's at his best when he's not over-thinking things and after a barren spell of 20 league games without a goal, has now scored in three of his last four. That included the winner against Anderlecht. If he starts, he might be a decent bet at around 2.70, especially given it's likely he'll play through the middle with two from Wayne Rooney, Jesse Lingard, Martial, Ashley Young or Mkhitarayan either side of him. It's also possible Rooney might play as an out-and-out striker but I wouldn't touch that 7/4 on Betfair Sportsbook with a barge pole.

It's typical of Burnley's season that in their last 10 matches, none of their players has scored in more than one match. They really are a team where everyone pulls in the same direction rather than one where a couple of stars make the difference.

But if you're feeling adventurous, how about Joey Barton at around 10.00 when the market on the Exchange matures? If you can score the winner on your debut (albeit his 'second debut' for them), then why not pop up with the goal against Man Utd that all but keeps you up?

Ref Watch

Anthony Taylor is one off the better referees right now for my money. He averages 3.9 yellows a season and has dished out just four reds from 26 games.

Ten players for United have played more minutes in the league than Fellaini but no-one can match his eight yellows. If he starts, I'd take anything above 2.80 on him being shown a card.
Recommended Bets
1pt Lay Manchester United @ 1.70

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