Predicted XI

Cavani straight back in? How Manchester United could line up against Burnley

The Uruguayan has served his three-match ban and could come back in for the Red Devils

8:41am on Monday 11th January 2021
Nicholas Hughes

Ninety minutes at Turf Moor on Tuesday night separate Manchester United from the top of the Premier League table, a place they haven’t occupied in over two years.

Their clash against Burnley will make up for the fixture lost on the opening weekend of the campaign after United’s exploits in Europe between seasons in July.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will enter the fixture with a few selection headaches to overcome, particularly at centre-half with both Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly facing a race to be fit.

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The Norwegian confirmed after the 1-0 FA Cup win over Watford that the former was absent due to injury, while the latter suffered a blow to the neck in a collision with Dean Henderson.

Luke Shaw was also forced out of the clash with the Hornets, and with Liverpool over the horizon at the weekend Alex Telles will likely remain in place at left-back.

Midfield has suddenly become the most interesting area of the pitch for United, with Scott McTominay in seemingly career best form alongside an equally impressive Fred.

Those two are ultimately pushing Paul Pogba out of the side, though the Frenchman has stepped up in recent weeks with solid performances against Wolves and Aston Villa in the league.

Yet even further down the pecking order appears to be Donny van de Beek at the moment, without a league start since the trip to West Ham on December 5 – and he was substituted at half-time.

The Dutch international showed his quality in the cup at the weekend will have aided his hopes of playing here, though it is unlikely from the start with plenty of star players to return to the side.

Chief among those is Bruno Fernandes. He has scored or assisted in United’s last four league games, averaging 1.24 goal contributions per 90 minutes – his 18 goals and assists is bettered only by Harry Kane.

Marcus Rashford will almost certainly return to the side in attack, but the final position alongside him is up for more debate with Edinson Cavani returning to the picture.

The Uruguayan missed the win over Aston Villa as well as the respective cup games against Manchester City and Watford as he served a three-game ban for social media misconduct.

PSG’s record goal scorer has chipped in well in his debut Premier League season, notching three goals and two assists while being limited to cameos off the bench.

And he may have to make do with a spot on the bench again with Anthony Martial returning to the side.

It’s been a slow-moving season by Martial’s standards, but a goal in the win against Villa will hopefully give him a much-needed boost of confidence heading into not only this game, but a back half of the season where United are preparing for an assault on the title.

Manchester United starting XI versus Burnley

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