Paul Pogba is likely to replace the injured Scott McTominay when Manchester United take on Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Manchester United will be eager to continue building a winning momentum when they lock horns with Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday night. And, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a fresh injury concern to contend with ahead of his side’s final game of the year.
Scott McTominay is ruled out of the contest due to a knee injury he sustained in the 4-1 win over Newcastle United on Boxing Day. The Scottish international has joined Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Timothy Fosu-Mensah on the sidelines.
The big issue, apart from McTominay’s absence, for Solskjaer is how he manages the minutes of his regulars, as the games continue to come thick and fast during the festive period. The Manchester United manager addressed the topic during his press conference post the Newcastle win.
“We’re probably in the best position to perform on Saturday. One – we knew the game was over after 45 minutes. Two – we’re young, so we’re in with a great chance at Burnley to perform to our best level. I think the average age of the outfield players today was 23 and that will make it easier for us to recover.”
There is unlikely to be any change in goal, with David de Gea starting again. Defence, though, could see one shuffle, with Luke Shaw possibly being rested. Manchester United captain Ashley Young ought to replace him in the left-back slot. At the heart of the defence, there is no looking past Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a certain starter on the right flank.
The key issue in midfield will be McTominay’s replacement, who ought to ideally be Paul Pogba. Meanwhile, Solskjaer spoke about McTominay’s injury in his presser following the win over Newcastle.
“He’s done his ligament in his knee, probably. We don’t know how bad it is, so let’s see. The boy has got the biggest heart of the lot. He played until half-time but we know when they stiffen up after. We’ll have to find out tomorrow, how he is. I’m not sure if he’ll be ready for Saturday [against Burnley]. Probably not, but we’ve seen him recover before.”
Pogba has appeared off the bench in each of the last two games and should replace the injured McTominay in the midfield double pivot. Pogba is likely to have Fred as his partner, with the Brazilian among those who impressed in the comfortable win on Boxing Day.
Another player who was on song on Thursday was Mason Greenwood. However, unlike Fred, Greenwood could drop down to the bench, making way for Daniel James, who was an unused substitute against Newcastle.
The final change in the starting lineup should see Jesse Lingard replacing Andreas Pereira, with the Englishman reprising the No. 10 role. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were taken off with more than a quarter of a game left and are, therefore, certain starters. Martial will spearhead the Manchester United attack against Burnley, while Rashford will start on the left.
Predicted Manchester United XI: de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; Fred, Pogba; James, Lingard, Rashford; Martial