Manchester United vs. Burnley live score, updates, highlights from Premier League match

Manchester United’s holiday season has been more frustrating than festive, and the Red Devils have one more chance to turn things around as they host Burnley at Old Trafford on Thursday.

United (7th place, 28 pts) was handed one of the softest December schedules of any Premier League team, but COVID-19 and poor form has derailed what was meant to be a flying festive fixture list. Narrow and unconvincing 1-0 wins over Crystal Palace and Norwich City were followed by a pair of COVID-19 postponements of games against Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion.

The latest slip, a 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Monday that saw the struggling Magpies unlucky to come away with all three points, now puts interim manager Ralf Rangnick in a delicate position after following up the departed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. A convincing win over Burnley would go a long way towards ushering in 2022 on a high note and easing the negative press.

MORE: Why is Man United called the Red Devils?

Burnley (18th place, 11 pts), meanwhile, is in desperate need of a positive result, and the Clarets will be smelling blood in the water. Watching relegation-threatened Newcastle produce a positive performance against the Red Devils will no doubt galvanize a Burnley squad in need of momentum.

Like United, Burnley’s holiday schedule was wrecked by COVID-19 postponements, with three straight matches pushed, meaning it hasn’t played a fixture since a 0-0 draw with West Ham on Dec. 12. United seemed to struggle from rust after its two-match layoff, so with Burnley looking at nearly three weeks without a game, attacking flow could be problematic for the visitors. That for a club that already hasn’t scored in three straight matches, leaving Burnley desperate for a sign of life up front.

Sporting News will be following the match live and providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.

Man United vs. Burnley live score

  1H 2H Final
Man United  1
Burnley  0

Goals: 
8th minute: Manchester United – Scott McTominay

(All times Eastern)

20th minute: Luke Shaw charges through the attacking half and nobody closes him down, so the left-back lets loose and beats Wayne Hennessey but beats the near post as well.

17th minute: Things have seriously settled down since the goal. It appears that Edinson Cavani is occasionally dropping into a midfield like a #10 in a 4-2-3-1, and other times he roams up next to Ronaldo and leaves a space in the middle. Burnley has been quiet since the opener, looking to sit back and deal with Manchester United in the buildup.

8th minute: GOAL! Manchester United! That’s a hysterical goal, because Scott McTominay’s just completely taken the ball off the feet of Cristiano Ronaldo, and he’s scored with it. A ball from Mason Greenwood up to the top of the box went to Ronaldo, but a heavy touch pushing it centrally onto his left created a bit of space between him and the ball. McTominay saw the opening and pounced, firing low into the bottom-right corner. An early opener for the home side in the rain against a defensively stout Burnley side is critical for Ralf Rangnick.

5th minute: Oh my. Cristiano Ronaldo. It should be 1-1! Ronaldo is clean through, and if you want anyone in that situation, it’s probably the Portuguese superstar. His right foot sends it high and wide, not even troubling Wayne Hennessey. Wow. How on Earth did he miss that???

Somehow, it’s still 0-0. One massive chance for either side missed.

4th minute: It should be 1-0 Burnley, a warning sign for Manchester United. A wonderful delivery by Matt Lowton – on his 50th appearance for Burnley – found Chris Wood all alone in the penalty area, but his leaping header goes over the bar. The Burnley striker should have done much better, there was nobody remotely close. It looked almost like United played a failed offside trap.

1st minute: We’re under way! It’s pouring rain, as it has been for a few hours. Both teams could badly go for a result here, and that seems to favor Burnley who will just be happy to get a game in as scheduled.

It appears Aaron Lennon, usually a wide player, is playing centrally for Burnley, slotting in behind Chris Wood. Interesting setup we haven’t seen before from Sean Dyche, at least not recently. United, meanwhile, look in a very attacking mood.

3:13 p.m. ET: Just minutes to kickoff, and the Old Trafford fans are wishing legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson a happy birthday, as he turns 80 tomorrow, New Year’s Eve. Best wishes to an influential figure!

2:58 p.m. ET: Home side is out for final warmups at Old Trafford with 15 minutes until kickoff.

2:31 p.m. ET: Manchester United will hope to have history on its side tonight against Burnley.

2:15 p.m. ET: Lineups are in. There are a host of surprises for Man United as Ralf Rangnick looks to switch things up. He changes both full-backs, bringing in Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw, while sitting Raphael Varane for Eric Bailly in the middle. Fred drops to the bench for Nemanja Matic, while Mason Greenwood shifts out wide opposite Jadon Sancho, with Edinson Cavani starting alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. That’s about as wholesale of changes as you’ll see at Manchester United from one league game to another. Rangnick’s not happy.

For Burnley, Wayne Hennessey comes in at goalkeeper for Nick Pope, while it’s Aaron Lennon into the lineup, not Maxwel Cornet who was expected to return but has not. A number of Burnley players are missing due to COVID-19, including Pope, hence the replacement in goal.

1:56 p.m. ET: Weather will be a factor today. It’s currently pouring in Manchester.

1:20 p.m. ET: This is the sort of schtick that Manchester United has been forced to endure since the Newcastle match with all the talk of negative body language and speculation that the players are not taking well to Ralf Rangnick’s late training sessions. We’ll see if it triggers a reaction.

Man United vs. Burnley lineups

Paul Pogba remains out for Manchester United with a thigh problem, but overall the Red Devils are still quite healthy.

Victor Lindelof tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the Newcastle match and remains out, while Bruno Fernandes takes a seat for yellow-card accumulation. A game off might do the Portuguese attacker well. Even with Fernandes out, Donny van de Beek only makes the bench, still not a fit in Rangnick’s 4-4-2 system featuring two holding midfielders and no No. 10.

Rangnick has rung a whopping six changes to the starting lineup that sputtered against Newcastle. Nemanja Matic comes off the bench to replace Fred in midfield, while Edinson Cavani is rewarded for his goal against Newcastle with a start alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. Rangnick changed both full-backs, as Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka come in for Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles, and Eric Bailly makes an appearance at center-back, replacing Raphael Varane.

Man United starting lineup (4-4-2): De Gea (GK) — Shaw, Maguire, Bailly, Wan-Bissaka — Sancho, McTominay, Matic, Greenwood — Ronaldo, Cavani.

Man United subs (9): Henderson (GK), Telles, Dalot, Varane, Fred, Lingard, van de Beek, Elanga, Rashford.

Burnley’s injury list was thought to be eased by the long COVID-19 layoff, but Maxwel Cornet still does not make the squad despite the belief that he would return. Ashley Barnes and Connor Roberts are both still out with long-term issues, the only known absences for the Clarets in this game. Dale Stephens is likely to have shaken off his bout with COVID-19 in time to be available, and he makes the bench.

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The biggest question for Burnley boss Sean Dyche was what to do with Jay Rodriguez, and he misses out altogether. The former Southampton man has been a bench option for most of the season, earning only two starts, including the last time out against West Ham. But he’s still without a goal this season. It’s clear regular minutes would continue to help him, but even with Cornet still out, he doesn’t even make the matchday squad. Instead, Aaron Lennon sees the start with Chris Wood the lone striker up top.

Burnley starting lineup (4-5-1 diamond): Hennessey (GK) — Taylor, Mee, Tarkowski, Lowton — McNeil, Westwood, Cork, Gudmundsson, Lennon — Wood.

Burnley subs (9): Norris, Collins, Bardsley, Pieters, Stephens, Thomas, Vydra.

How to watch Man United vs. Burnley

  • Date: Thursday, Dec. 30
  • Time: 3:15 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: NBCSN
  • Spanish-language TV: Universo
  • Streaming: fuboTV, NBCSports.com (authenticated subscribers)

The Manchester United vs. Burnley matchup will be broadcast on NBCSN (English) and Universo (Spanish) and both channels can be streamed on fuboTV with new users getting a free 7-day trial.

The match will also stream on NBCSports.com for authenticated subscribers to cable, satellite or telco packages.

Man United-Burnley betting pick & prediction

Odds courtesy of DraftKings

Both teams have been inconsistent so far this season and it’s tough to say what version of both teams we’ll be getting, especially given the layoffs they have endured of late. For that reason, this would typically be a stay-away game.

What’s certain is that Burnley will be entering Old Trafford thinking defense first, and then hoping to nick a goal on the other end. That tactic hasn’t worked too well for Burnley coach Sean Dyche in 12 career matches against Man United. The Red Devils have scored 18 times in those games, including 10 times in six games at Old Trafford. So while they’ve avoided embarrassing, lopsided results, the Burnley defense has still been regularly breached by United.

For those compelled to make a pick on this game, the under might be the best strategy as both sides continue to work their way to better form.

Pick: Under 2.5 goals (+125)

Prediction: Manchester United 1-0 Burnley

  • Moneyline: Man United -275 / Draw +425 / Burnley +750
  • Spread: Man United -1.5 (+110) / Burnley +1.5 (-125)
  • O/U 2.5 total goals: Over -155 / Under +125
  • Both teams to score: Yes -105 / No -120

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