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Burnley v Man Utd: Preview

United visit Turf Moor, a stadium whose environs could give one the impression of being transported to a different era. The brilliant Two Hundred Percent blog, gives an insight into the club and what it’s been through all these years, and as a segue it’s a good read. I’m sure the press will spare a few words on the old world charm of Turf Moor, however, for United’s superstars — and most pampered Premier League stars — the dressing rooms will be a dump. As this Daily Mirror article suggests.

But really, as obvious things go, what happens when the players step on to the pitch is what really matters. With that banal remark let’s have a look at the team.

Ferguson said he wanted to try a new combination prior to the Brum match. It could also mean Carrick will get his first league start of the season. Darren Fletcher might yet get another start, however, I suspect it could well be Anderson alongside Carrick. Ferguson likes Park, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he featured over Nani. I think he will continue to start Valencia. ‘This is Rooney’s year’, we say that every year; even though the refrain sounds disturbingly similar to that of the red half of another city, not far from Manchester. But really, this is Rooney’s year. Honest. Seriously. Oi, stop snickering… how dare you? Sorry I got carried away… but Rooney will start. Ferguson also mentioned Owen getting his chances following the Birmingham win, and I have a sneaky suspicion he’ll start. Although I wouldn’t take my sneaky suspicions seriously. Ideally, you’d want Berbatov and Rooney to play as much as possible together this season.

The defence is a tricky one; Rio, Vidic, Evans are all out, which means Brown and O’Shea will play in centre of defence. Hopefully, de Laet gets a chance ahead of Fabio at right back. Evra would take his customary spot at left back. Ben Foster should continue his extended run between the sticks.

That’s my team, but before my score predictions, some youth team/loan news. Tom Cleverley who’s on loan at Watford scored on his debut in an away win over Nottingham Forest, whilst another loanee, Danny Drinkwater scored for Huddersfield. Of course, you can read more United youth related news at the well-informed and updated Man United Youth blog. Another bit of information for those interested — I’d forgotten to mention this earlier — United Rant have launched a spanking new Man Utd weekly podcast that you can now listen to, and comment on.

Anyway back to today, it’s a well known fact that Burnley earned a reputation for being giant killers from their cup run, and hence they’ve been tipped to be better equipped to escape the drop this time. Either way, time and again it’s been proven that Turf Moor can be a tricky place to go. However, with the quality we have we should beat them comfortably. We need a break out performance to lay a marker for where the team’s headed.

Meanwhile the Vidic rumours continue to do the rounds but it’s inconceivable that Fergie would sell him now. Even his agent confirms that; despite trotting out the “it’s his dream to play for Barca” lark. I would see Barcelona come back with a proper bid next summer, though. There’s been a lot of smoke here, and it will be reignited next year.

For now he’s a United player, albeit injured. And we have a match to watch.

Prediction: United 2-0 Burnley.

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