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Manchester United vs Burnley: Preview

Just as the dust has almost settled after the dismal performance against Birmingham, we get the fantastic news about our financial situation. The doomsday soothsayers are out in force and every Manchester United fan in the land is slightly worried. Apparently the club are in crisis. So what better time to be facing a team that has just changed coach? Burnley visit Old Trafford later today and this could well prove the match that gets our season back on track.

Newly appointed Brain Laws will be looking to continue the good work of the departed Owen Coyle, he is of course the best pound for point manager from the Championship during the period 2006-2009. Yes folks! That’s the reason he was appointed as Burnley manager,

“The results of a Deloitte and Touche study, delivered at the club’s request, confirm that he was top of the list of Championship managers over the period 2006-2009, in terms of delivering the best results relative to financial budgets,” according to Burnley chairman, Barry Kilby.

United go into the match with the news that Edwin van der Sar is back fit and with the squad, Sir Alex Ferguson is going to make sure van der Sar feels right before making the decision on whether to start him or not. Due to the confidence he brings at the back it looks likely he will replace Tomasz Kuszczak in goal.

Ferguson has stated he wants a consistent side, especially in defence. Jonny Evans and Wes Brown should continue in the heart of the defence, Patrice Evra will of course be at left-back and Rafael should start on the right side. Rio Ferdinand has made progress while training in Qatar, but the Burnley game comes a bit too early for him. Nemanja Vidic may make the bench as he is close to a full recovery.

Darren Fletcher is suspended after his red card last weekend, so Anderson may be drafted in as a replacement. Michael Carrick will be his midfield partner. Antonio Valencia will take up his usual right midfield role, with Ryan Giggs brought back into the side at the expense of Ji-Sung Park.

As usual Wayne Rooney will lead the United front line, but who will be his able assistant? DImitar Berbatov is carrying an injury that will have to be operated on, so Ferguson may decide not to risk him. Michael Owen will be itching for a start, though Mame Biram Diouf might get his first start since joining the club earlier in the month.

Burnley are also in a bit of a slump, they haven’t won in 10 games. Defender and captain Steven Caldwell looks likely to miss out with a groin strain while midfielder Jay Rodriguez should also be absent with an ankle injury. Andre Bikey has now joined up with the Cameroon side at the African Cup of Nations in Angola so is unavailable.

Defenders Stephen Jordan and Tyrone Mears should both return to the side after the pair missed the FA Cup trip to MK Dons due to suspension.

The Clarets have picked up just one point from a possible 30 away from home in the Premier League, the worst record of any team. Their last away win at Old Trafford was a 5-2 victory in September 1962. They have also conceded at least two goals in all of their Premier League away matches this season and failed to score in the last three as well. So statistics are at least on our side.

We need to win; it’s as simple as that.

Prediction: 3-1 United

Probable Line Up: van der Sar, Evra, Evans, Brown, Rafael, Giggs, Anderson, Carrick, Valencia, Rooney, Owen.

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Betfair is the official Manchester United betting partner and we here at Red Rants have partnered with them to offer a free £25 bet when you register.

Unlike other betting sites, Betfair allows you to place bets when the game is running and choose the odds at which you want to play. What allows you to do these things is you’re betting against other fans, not the bookie, so if you want better odds than are currently available, for example, you can place an order for a better price (but bear in mind that if your price is unrealistic your bet is unlikely to be accepted).

So, give this a run if you’re up for it.