Burnley have had little to cheer about in 2018 as they are yet to find their first Premier League win while also they have been dumped out of the F.A. Cup by runaway leaders Manchester City, today they face more opposition from that part of the country as Jose Mourinho’s United come to Turf Moor.
For Sean Dyche’s men it is now six games without a win in the Premier League, a run which is the second longest in the division at present with only Southampton not having won in their last ten being worse off, that said it is not all doom and gloom for the Clarets.
With 34 points under their belts already they would have to lose every game of the season between now and the final day to suffer the ignominy of what would arguably the most bizarre relegation of all time, so you can all but assume they will be in the Premier League again come August 2018.
However that said the fact that their season has somewhat hit the skids as of late will be of frustration to Dyche, especially after such a bright start to the campaign. One that at one point saw them mix it with the top six and knock Tottenham down to seventh.
Perhaps that bright start has raised expectations slightly and with that then comes additional disappointment, so I guess people need to weigh up Burnley’s achievements against their hopes at the start of the season then opposed to their current run of results.
Many felt that Burnley would struggle this season and they have made everyone look silly in that aspect, therefore by that measure the current campaign has been a success, the task now though for the players is too make sure they don’t let all their hard work go to waste after such a positive start.
However they are going to have their work cut out this afternoon as they entertain a Manchester United side that have once again taken back second place in the Premier League and they come here boosted by the fact that they have cut the gap at the top to 12 points.
That still may be a very sizeable gap between the two Manchester clubs but at least last week Pep Guardiola’s men showed that they are human after their defeat to Liverpool at Anfield and the hope will be that now sends them into something of a tail spin, one that United could profit from.
To do so United are just going to have to go on a winning streak of their own and just hope that they can erode the gap bit by bit, this is not something that is going to happen overnight obviously due to it’s magnitude but if they can find a chink in City’s armour then they will do their best to exploit it.
Not only that though they will want to keep getting wins on the board to make sure that they are not dragged into the race for the Champions League spots below, it has already become a race for third what with Chelsea being sucked into it, the last thing United will want is it becoming a race for second.
They managed to pull clear of the chasing pack on Monday thanks to a routine 3-0 win over a Stoke side that had newly appointed manager Paul Lambert watching from the stands and the former Aston Villa and Wolves boss would have seen his new side comfortably beaten.
It’s now seven games unbeaten in the Premier League for Manchester United and they will be full of confidence of making eight especially with Burnley in the almost opposite form, however they will not want to settle for a draw in Lancashire and I have a feeling they will come away with all three points.