Manchester United will look to cut the gap at the top of the Premier League table, when they take on Burnley on Saturday
Manchester United will face off against Sean Dyche’s Burnley at the Turf Moor, in the matchweek 24 of the Premier League.
The Red Devils, currently sitting second in the table, twelve points behind runaway leaders Manchester City will be hoping to close down the gap with a win against the Clarets away from home.
The pre-match has been completely dominated by the news of Manchester United’s impending signing of Chilean attacker Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal. The 29-year old is reportedly close on completing a huge transfer from the Gunners.
It was expected that the move would be done before Friday noon for Alexis to feature for United against Burnley, but there has been a last minute delay as the two clubs hash out the final details. And Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho provided the latest update on the news, in his pre-match press conference.
“There is nothing new. I think clearly everybody knows that we are there and especially when the Arsenal manager speaks so clearly like he did – there is no point in trying to hide or deny it.
“But it is not done – not done at all.”
As part of the deal, United playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan is set to move in the opposite direction to Arsenal and Mourinho confirmed that the Armenian will not be involved in Saturday’s encounter against Burnley. He told reporters,”No, not selected but in very good condition, training really well, and in perfect condition like the others.”
The Portguese also gave an update on the rest of his squad, confirming that defender Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are yet to recover from their injuries, while also revealing that Daley Blind had a minor problem that he picked up during training and as a result will miss out.
“Nothing new to report,” Jose said. “Just a little problem with Daley in training today. It is an injury but nothing really important. Apart from that, Eric and Zlatan are still recovering. Everyone else is fit and good.”
There was good news for the United fans with experienced player Ashley Young available for selection once again, after serving out his three-match suspension. However, it remains to be seen if the former Aston Villa man will take the pitch at the Turf Moor, with his replacement Luke Shaw performing exceedingly well in the past few fixtures.
And Mourinho was full of praise for the former Southampton full-back, and even went on to claim that there are few better than Shaw in his position at the moment. He said:
“Luke [has done] very well. He was already improving and playing well when I started playing him after that long spell without minutes.
“[He was] good, solid, physically much better, mentally much stronger, tactically understanding much better the game and what we need from him in the different phases and circumstances. I’m really happy. You like the transfer market and I can say in this moment, I don’t see many left-backs better than Luke Shaw.”
There are likely to be no changes from the team that defeated Stoke City 3-0 at home last weekend. David De Gea should continue in goal for United, with the fit-again Antonio Valencia taking the right-back slot. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are likely to continue in the heart of the defence, while despite Young’s return Mourinho is set to continue with Shaw at left-back.
Midfield maverick Paul Pogba will be partnered by Nemanja Matic as the two pivots, with in-form man Jesse Lingard likely to continue as United’s No.10. Lingard will be flanked by Juan Mata and Anthony Martial on the right and the left respectively, whereas Romelu Lukaku, who is back among the goals, should lead the line once again.