Soccer tips: Man United vs Burnley - Clarets can cause hosts problems again

Manchester United produced an abject display at Newcastle and look worth opposing against a Burnley side with a strong record at Old Trafford.

Manchester United lost ground in the battle for a Champions League spot when they were held 1-1 at Newcastle on Monday night.

Perhaps rust was an issue as it was the first time they'd played since a 1-0 away win at Norwich on December 11.

But if United's plans have been disrupted, spare a thought for Burnley.

They've had cancellations due to both the weather and Covid, meaning Sean Dyche's side have played four fewer Premier League matches than several teams.

When: Thursday, December 30, 20.15 GMT

Where: Old Trafford

Follow this game via our score centre

Best bets for Manchester United vs Burnley

The Draw at 4/1

Edinson Cavani to score first at 10/3

Maxwell Cornet to score anytime at 15/4

It's not being unkind to say that Manchester United were genuinely terrible in the 1-1 draw against Newcastle on Monday evening.

The Magpies have won just once all season - against Burnley incidentally - and yet the Red Devils should really have become victim number two.

It took substitute Edinson Cavani to rescue a point for the visitors but, even then, Newcastle had the better chances to force a winner.

It's still very early days for Ralf Rangnick of course but draws against Newcastle and Young Boys in the Champions League along with a pair of 1-0 wins over Crystal Palace and Norwich make it a somewhat underwhelming start.

Rome wasn't built in a day but Manchester United fans were hoping for a bigger 'bounce' effect following the dark end to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign.

Burnley currently reside in the bottom three but, as mentioned, have a bunch of games in hand over most of their rivals.

Which is not to say that games in hand equals points.

From the 15 matches they've played so far the Clarets have managed just 11 points so that's an average of 0.73 per game.

If we apply that to the fixtures they've missed it still only really gives them another three points so they need to start gathering up wins sooner rather than later.

So far those 15 matches have produced a single win, eight draws and six defeats so they remain relatively difficult to beat still.

Last three meetings

Man Utd 3-1 Burnley (April 18, 2021)

Mason Greenwood double was enough for second-placed United to secure the points but only after Burnley had given them a scare.

Greenwood thumped in an opener on 48 only for James Tarkowski to head Burnley level two minutes later.

It stayed 1-1 until the 84th minute before Greenwood blasted a second and Cavani put the issue beyond doubt in added time to leave United eight points behind leaders Man City with six games left.

Burnley 0-1 Man Utd (January 12, 2021)

United hadn't been top of the table after 17 rounds of matches since the Sir Alex Ferguson era but they wiped out that stat here.

Solskjaer's team were by far the better team and deservedly banked all three points when Paul Pogba fired home from a Marcus Rashford pass with 19 minutes to go.

It put United three points clear at the top and left Burnley, whose first shot on target came in injury time, languishing in 16th.

Man Utd 0-2 Burnley (January 22, 2020)

Burnley scored their first away league win against Manchester United since 1962 thanks to goals either side of half-time from Chris Wood and Jay Rodriguez.

Wood cashed in on Ben Mee's knockdown to give Dyche's men the lead on 39 and Rodriguez caused further unrest at Old Trafford with a second after 56.

There was no response from Solskjaer's team, who ended the day in sixth place after 24 games, a massive 30 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Past 10 meetings

Man Utd wins: 6

Draws: 3

Burnley wins: 1

Man Utd goals: 15

Burnley goals: 7

Draw worth chancing with United still unconvincing

There are doubts hanging over both teams ahead of this Old Trafford clash.

United have managed just four goals in four games under Rangnick and the 1-0 win at Norwich doesn't look that great in hindsight given that the Canaries have subsequently lost 2-0, 5-0 and 3-0.

And, although this game is at home, Young Boys managed a draw there and Burnley have some notable recent history at Old Trafford.

As discussed above, they won 2-0 at Old Trafford two seasons ago and, remarkably, that was the third straight time they'd taken a 2-0 lead on United's home patch.

United rescued draws in the other two but the last five head-to-heads in Manchester show a win apiece and three draws.

The big question is: can the current Burnley side bank a draw or either a win?

Backing Man Utd at just 4/11 doesn't look smart. That leaves the draw at 4/1 or a Burnley win at 13/2.

It's a slight leap of faith to back Burnley but they clearly enjoy going to Old Trafford and are worth a play to come away with their fourth draw in six visits.

Goalscorer bets for Manchester United vs Burnley

We only have very early evidence of the Rangnick era but so far the goals haven't exactly been flowing.

United have managed just four in four games, the scorers: Fred, Greenwood, Cristiano Ronaldo and Cavani.

Ronaldo is just 4/7 to net anytime and he may well get on the scoresheet.

But those odds are more akin to Mo Salah's. Ronaldo has the same number of league goals as Neal Maupay this season and has fired blanks in nine of his last 12 top-flight matches.

If not Ronaldo, the options are fairly thin. Rashford hasn't scored since October while the goals have dried up for Bruno Fernandes (one for his club since September 11).

Cavani's goalscoring instincts remain as sharp as ever though and the Uruguayan has netted in his last two Premier League games for United.

Hopefully, Rangnick will start him in which case I'll back Cavani for first goal at 10/3.

If he's a sub and comes off the bench when a goal has already been scored, the bet is void which offers us some insurance.

As for Burnley, Dyche says he will make a late decision on Maxwel Cornet.

The man from the Ivory Coast has scored five goals in his last eight Premier League starts but hasn't featured since being injured against Newcastle in early December.

If he does get the nod, Cornet is worth a look anytime at 15/4. Again, we'll play the bet knowing that money back is a fail safe if he doesn't play any part.

Chris Wood has scored in two of his last three trips to Old Trafford so is worth a look although 13/5 seems a tad short.

READ MORE: Finish strong or all goes wrong? How Premier League sides perform in the second half of the season

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