Manchester United v Burnley preview: Wayne Rooney and Chris Smalling to be assessed
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 29/10/16 2:05pm
Wayne Rooney and Chris Smalling will be assessed ahead of Manchester United's Premier League clash with Burnley on Saturday afternoon.
The duo missed Wednesday's EFL Cup win over Manchester City, as did forward Anthony Martial, but could return at Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho's side bounced back from their 4-0 league defeat to Chelsea by edging past City 1-0, booking an EFL Cup quarter-final meeting with West Ham.
United face a Burnley side yet to pick up a point away from Turf Moor, although Andre Gray is vying for a recall for the Clarets following his four-game suspension for historic offensive social media posts.
Mourinho insists his side will not underestimate the threat posed by the visitors despite their poor away record.
"We are a team in the process of building up," Mourinho said. "You don't do that with one transfer window, you don't do that in three or four months but in this moment we just think about game by game, and now it is Burnley and Burnley is difficult.
"Even in the season I was champion with Chelsea we drew at home against Burnley.
"I remember we were fighting with Man City for the title and they also drew at home against Burnley and they are the same Burnley, the same manager, basically the same players, philosophy, mentality."
While Rooney and Smalling may feature, United defenders Eric Bailly and Phil Jones will miss out through knee issues.
However, Mourinho did confirm Henrikh Mkhitaryan is fit and available for selection after he was left out of the squad that faced City.
Burnley welcome Gray back, while George Boyd and Stephen Ward are expected to be fit for Sean Dyche, but there will be a late decision on Steven Defour (hamstring).
United are unbeaten in their last 12 home league fixtures against Burnley, last losing to them at Old Trafford in September 1962 (W8 D4).
Burnley beat Manchester United 1-0 in their first Premier League meeting in August 2009 thanks to Robbie Blake's winning goal, but are winless in the three games since (D1 L2).
This could be United's 100th Premier League victory over a newly-promoted side. Their record currently stands at P143 W99 D30 L14.
At Old Trafford, United have lost just one of their last 12 (W9 D2), scoring in each of those games (23 goals) and shipping just eight in that period.
Jose Mourinho has lost 13 of his last 27 Premier League games (W9 D5), having lost only 13 of the 119 games prior to this run.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has gone five league games without scoring for the first time since September 2010. He last went longer without a goal with Inter Milan in December 2007 (6 games).
The Clarets are averaging just two shots on target per Premier League game this season, the lowest in the division. Away from home, they've had just three shots on target in three games.
Ibrahimovic was a world-class striker but he's not anymore. He is 35 and playing in the hardest league in the world so as the season goes on, I can't see him getting better.
Mourinho will obviously stick with him despite his recent struggles and he should get a few opportunities against Burnley, who haven't looked up to scratch away from Turf Moor.
It looks like a routine home win to follow up Wednesday's big result over rivals Manchester City.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (Sky Bet odds 5/1)
Sky Bet make United the huge odds-on favourites at 1/5 to beat Burnley. The Clarets can be backed 14/1 and Sky Bet have the draw as an option at 5/1.
Ibrahimovic heads Sky Bet's first goalscorer prices at 3/1 and his fellow United striker Marcus Rashford can be supported at 4/1. The top Burnley contenders to net first are the returning Gray and Sam Vokes, who can both be backed at 12/1.
Sky Bet price up both teams to score at 7/4 and it's heavily favoured at 2/5 that both teams don't find the back of the net.