- It is Manchester United vs Burnley in Round 20 of the EPL on Thursday, December 30 at 3:15 pm ET
- United come into this off the back of a draw with Newcastle while Burnley have had an enforced rest
- We preview the game, look at the odds, and offer some picks below
Manchester United hosts Burnley at Old Trafford on Thursday, December 30 at 3:15 pm ET in Round 20 of the English Premier League.
United will be looking to return to winning ways after a disappointing draw at Newcastle on Boxing Day, while for Burnley this is their first competitive game since their 0-0 draw with West Ham back on December 12.
We list the odds, preview Manchester United vs Burnley, and offer below the best picks for this EPL Matchday 20 clash.
Manchester United vs Burnley Odds
|Manchester United vs Burnley||MNU +0.5 (-286) | BUR +0.5 (+230)||MNU -286 | DRAW +410 | BUR +850||Ov 2.5 (+145) | Un 2.5 (-190)|
Odds as of December 30 at BarStool.
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Only a Point for United at Newcastle
United were fresh for their visit to Newcastle on Boxing Day after having had their previous two games – against Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion – postponed due to the high volume of illnesses and injuries in their camp, so their low-key, low-energy performance in drawing 1-1 at St James’ Park was a surprise and a disappointment to new manager Ralf Rangnick. It was a game Newcastle should have won.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 29, 2021
The draw ended a run of three straight wins for the Red Devils, whose results since the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have improved, even if there has been no discernable improvement in performance levels. Against Newcastle, it needed a 71st-minute equalizer from Edinson Cavani to rescue a point after Allan Saint-Maximin had given the Toon an early lead.
Still a Champions League Target for United
As things stand, United are seventh, outside both the Champions League and Europa League places, and are a whopping 22 points behind the current leaders – their city rivals Man City. Crucially, for a huge club that demands Champions League soccer, United is currently seven points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal, although they do have two games in hand, and are just two points behind sixth-placed Tottenham who have played the same number of games.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 28, 2021
United’s recent form against Burnley is good, having won their last two league games against the Clarets – including a 3-1 win at Old Trafford last season – but worth noting is that the visitors have experienced victory at Old Trafford as recently as 2019-20 when they won 2-0.
Manchester United vs Burnley Head-to-Head Stats
|8-4-5||Record in EPL||1-8-6|
|7th||Position in EPL||18th|
|D-W-W-D-W-D||Form Guide (all competitions)||W-D-D-D-L-D|
|1.64||Average Expected Goals For (xG)||1.13|
Mid-Season Break for Burnley
Burnley has not played a game since December 12 – when they drew 0-0 at home with West Ham – so have effectively had their own mid-season break. Their last three games – against Watford, Aston Villa and Everton – were all postponed for COVID-related reasons, so it will interesting to see if, as a result, the Clarets are fresh and raring to go, or are rusty from two-and-a-half weeks of inaction.
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) December 29, 2021
Luckily for Burnley, while they are currently down in 18th on just 11 points, the two teams below them – Newcastle and Norwich – have failed to take advantage and so, while for now, they remain in the relegation zone, they have no less than four games-in-hand to use to pull themselves clear of the drop zone. They are currently just two points behind 17th-placed Watford, over whom they have two games in hand.
Clarets Must Turn Draws Into Wins
But, for all these apparent advantages and opportunities to reach mid-table, the Clarets must, first of all, rediscover the winning habit. As things stand, they have won just once this season – a 3-1 home win over Brentford back in October – but have drawn no less than eight times. In order to achieve a mid-table finish, Sean Dyche’s men have to start turning those draws into wins.
🚀 Chris Wood's rocket goal
🐍 Jay Rod's venomous strike
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) December 30, 2021
In order to get anything from this game, Burnley has to overcome a fairly terrible record at Old Trafford. As mentioned above, they won there in 2019-20 but that was their only ever win at the so-called ‘Theatre of Dreams’. They will be hoping the break has given them a freshness and energy that will help negate United’s greater overall quality, but this will be a big ask for them.
Manchester United vs Burnley Prediction
For United, this game has to be regarded as a must-win if they are serious about making it into next season’s Champions League. The new-manager bounce has had the desired effect in terms of results but there is work to be done by Rangnick to uplift performance levels, especially against teams they are expected to beat, like Burnley.
I expect the Clarets to be bright and lively and this will be a closer game than the odds suggest, but in front of an expectant Old Trafford, it is hard to see the visitors having enough quality to get the win they so desperately need.
Picks: United to win (-286)