Burnley v Man Utd preview: Jose Mourinho missing key defenders
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 23/04/17 12:56pm
Manchester United will be missing a number of key defenders for their trip to Burnley on Sunday lunch time.
Jose Mourinho's side are definitely without centre-backs Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling through injury for the Super Sunday clash.
Rojo was carried off on a stretcher in the first half of United's Europa League quarter-final second-leg tie with Anderlecht at Old Trafford on Thursday night.
However, with England internationals Jones and Smalling also both out of the game with foot and knee problems respectively, the United manager will have just Eric Bailly and Daley Blind available to play in central defence.
And with top-scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury sustained against Anderlecht, Mourinho will once again have to make changes at Turf Moor.
"I want to wait but my feeling is not good, for both," he said after watching his team beat the Belgians 3-2 on aggregate to set up a semi-final showdown with Celta Vigo.
"I want to try to be optimistic but I'm not. I don't think they are easy injuries but I prefer to wait until all the tests are done tomorrow. After tomorrow then I can speak what I feel because I am a manager, not a doctor."
Burnley's Joey Barton will be available to face Manchester United on Sunday after his FA hearing into betting charges on Friday was adjourned.
The 34-year-old appeared before an FA commission and as no decision was reached during that session on Friday so Barton is free to play this weekend.
Sam Vokes (hamstring) and Scott Arfield (knee) are both doubts, but Johann Berg Gudmundsson (knee) could come back into the squad.
As for the visitors, Ibrahimovic and Rojo will miss the game, while Smalling (knee), Jones (foot) and Juan Mata (groin) remain injured, although David de Gea is expected to replace Sergio Romero in goal.
Burnley won their first ever home Premier League match which was against United in August 2009. Robbie Blake scored the only goal of the game.
United have scored just once in their last four league games at Turf Moor, with that goal coming from Lou Macari in April 1976.
Tom Heaton made 11 saves against United in Burnley's goalless draw at Old Trafford in October, his joint-most in a Premier League game this season.
United's unbeaten run now stands at 22 games (W12 D1) - every other Premier League team to go this long unbeaten in a single season has gone on to win the league in that campaign.
Burnley's tally of 32 points after 16 home games is the best by a promoted team since Charlton Athletic in 2000/01 (34).
United have won 30 points in 14 away games this season (W9 D3 L2). Only in four Premier League seasons have they taken more at this stage (1993/94, 2006/07, 2011/12 and 2012/13).
The Clarets have won just one of their last 10 Premier League outings (D4 L5). Prior to that, they had won five in the previous 10 (L5).
This will be tough for United. We know Burnley are strong at Turf Moor and United have the added problem of playing after a Thursday night Europa League game.
They will be confident after the big win over Chelsea but will count for little if they don't follow it up with another winning result on Super Sunday.
Burnley have not won bundles of matches at home recently but you can guarantee they will make it difficult.
I'm just edging United - and that puts them one point behind fourth-place Manchester City - but it won't be easy for them at all.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (Sky Bet odds 15/2)
United are Sky Bet's 4/6 favourites for the victory, with Burnley 9/2, while the draw is priced at 13/5. Mourinho's men head into the clash with odds of 7/2 to secure a top-four finish, significantly longer than the 10/11 on them to secure Champions League qualification by win the Europa League. Marcus Rashford heads the first goalscorer betting at 3/1 in Ibrahimovic's absence, while Andre Gray (9/1) is considered the hosts' main threat.