WILLIE DUNCAN (@Willie_Duncan) previews the first game on Sunday as Burnley host Manchester United.
Burnley v Manchester United | Sunday 14:15 | Sky Sports 1
If you’re looking for excitement, drama and goals galore this weekend, there are plenty of fixtures that may well catch your eye – but, it must be said, this match does not look likely to fit the bill.
Jose Mourinho’s men are sure to be in a good mood; if beating Chelsea wasn’t enough, United followed up by moving into the final four of the Europa League by seeing off Anderlecht after extra time in the second leg of their quarter-final clash with the Belgians on Thursday night.
Burnley, though, take a bit of beating at Turf Moor; only two teams have beaten them on home soil so far in 2017 – Tottenham Hotspur and…yes, Lincoln City in the FA Cup fifth round.
Reasons for Burnley optimism
Sean Dyche’s side will fancy their chances of taking something against Jose Mourinho’s men on Sunday afternoon, for the Clarets have collected no fewer than 32 of their 36 Premier League points on their own patch – and one of their four away points was procured from a goalless draw at Old Trafford back in October.
United have a good away record, losing just two of their 14 Premier League matches on the road thus far this term – fewer away defeats than any other side in the Premier League – but the statistics point to another tight, tense tussle when these rivals lock horns this weekend.
Burnley have conceded just 14 home goals in the league this season – the best record of any of the teams in the bottom half of the table, while United have the best defensive record of any team in the top flight on the road, with just 13 goals against; furthermore, only Spurs have shipped fewer Premier League goals than Mourinho’s men this season.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, too, may miss out on Sunday’s showdown after the 35-year- old Swede limped out of United’s Europa League tie on Thursday and that will certainly not make it any easier for Mourinho’s charges to get amongst the goals at Turf Moor.
Given how good Dyche’s Clarets have been on their own patch, the 13/2 quotes for a home win are certainly tempting, especially given that United’s primary focus may well remain on the Europa League, while there might just be a few United players with heavy legs after being taken all the way by Anderlecht on Thursday night.
Mourinho’s men, though, are unbeaten in 22 Premier League matches and that is a proud record that the visitors will be determined to preserve; better value, therefore, may lie in backing fewer than two goals to be scored at Turf Moor this weekend.
The selection, of course, would have landed when this rivalry was last renewed, but it also would have seen punters profit from three of Burnley’s last five Premier League games on home turf; the 49/20 quote, therefore, for fewer than two goals to be scored on Sunday may well be worth a look ahead of this clash.
Burnley v Manchester United – Under 1.5 Goals (49/20 Marathon Bet)