Prediction: Manchester United vs Burnley

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Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

Marking their return to action with an EFL Cup showdown on Wednesday night, Manchester United will welcome Burnley to Old Trafford.

Manchester United

Starting with the hosts, while Manchester United might have been disappointed by a pair of friendly defeats against Cadiz and Real Betis over the past week, Erik ten Hag’s men were enjoying an eye-catching run prior to the World Cup’s enforced break. Last seen on Premier League duties claiming a last-gasp 2-1 victory away at Fulham, the former Ajax boss has a Champions League return at the top of his agenda this season. Despite opening the 2022/23 campaign in the midst of what was a public struggle, the English heavyweights have largely put those issues behind them. In fact, the Red Devils had lost just one of their previous 12 matchups across all formats – a run that stems all the way back to their 6-3 drumming against Manchester City on October 2nd. Desperate to claim a piece of silverware in the New Year, ten Hag’s side will be looking to avoid a potential banana skin here.

Team News

Both featuring in Sunday’s World Cup final in Qatar, Manchester United will be without the defensive duo of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez here. Likewise, it remains to be seen if England’s Harry Maguire will feature at Old Trafford.

Continuing to shine prior to the winter break, Alejandro Garnacho should start in attack. The likes of Donny van de Beek will also be hoping to make a rare start on Wednesday.

Burnley

As for the visitors, while Burnley might have lost their Premier League status last season, the Clarets are enjoying what has been a remarkable purple patch. Only continuing to shine since appointing former Manchester City icon Vincent Kompany over the summer, the Lancashire-based outfit find themselves sat in pole position to book an immediate top-flight return. Last seen over the weekend when mounting a stellar comeback at Turf Moor as they eventually grabbed a 3-1 victory at home against Middlesbrough, Burnley have now lost just one of their last 22 straight matchups across all formats. In fact, with that dominant run stemming all the way back to August 12th, Kompany’s high-flying squad have also won eight of their last nine appearances. Quickly gaining a reputation for their free-scoring displays in the final third, it should also be noted that Wednesday’s guests have bagged at least a pair of goals in each of their previous seven showdowns.

Team News

Sent off against Middlesbrough over the weekend in Burnley’s 3-1 victory, Kompany’s side will be without defender Connor Roberts on Wednesday night.

Expected to make a few changes here, the duo of Ashley Barnes and Charlie Taylor will be hoping for a full recall at Old Trafford. Likewise, Northern Ireland goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell will be hoping for a start between the sticks.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides last faced off on February 8th, Manchester United and Burnley played out a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor.
  • Each of the last three meetings between Wednesday’s opponents have finished with both teams finding the net.
  • Manchester United have lost just one of their previous 12 matchups across all formats – a run that stems all the way back to October 2nd.
  • Likewise, Burnley have suffered just a single defeat from any of their last 22 straight appearances across all competitions.
  • Burnley’s last three matchups away from Turf Moor have produced 16 strikes.

Conclusion

While Manchester United might be tipped as a runaway pick on Wednesday night, ten Hag’s side should be bracing themselves for a tough test at Old Trafford. Although the Premier League giants might fancy their chances of extending on their EFL Cup adventure here, some in Burnley’s camp might be smelling the chance to spring a major upset. Only continuing on what has been a remarkable purple patch since making their Championship return over the summer, Kompany’s high-flying squad have also continued to shine in the final third. With each of the last three meetings between United and Burnley finishing with both teams finding the net, we’re backing a similar outcome here.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

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