Burnley vs Manchester United: Could the chance to be top affect United and who could feature?  

Manchester United play their game in hand this evening away to Burnley – a game that bears great importance to the away side.

With United being level on points alongside Liverpool at the top of the table, victory for the visitors would see them go three points clear ahead of their noisy neighbours, a mere five days before the highly-anticipated game at Anfield on Sunday.

So what should United fans be looking out for on Tuesday evening?

  • Will the occasion affect how United play?

On paper, a trip to Burnley can be seen as an idyllic fixture to most teams at the top of the table. However, an away tie at Turf Moor has never held greater important for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his men.

The fact that United can go three points clear at the top of the table with a victory tonight gives the match an entirely different complexion to that of a regular fixture against Burnley.

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As fascinating as United have been to watch in recent months, there is no doubting that the modern Manchester United tend to succumb to the pressures of big occasions – it will be fascinating to see if Ole's men can overcome this hurdle that they will not want to be associated with.

Free-flowing football and rapid counter attacks have become consistent themes in The Reds' recent performances; if these are apparent against Burnley, it would highlight a real ferocity in the United mentality as they play without fear whilst being close to the top of the league.

It could go the other way, however – Ole's men may well play within themselves due to the nature of the occasion and struggle to create throughout the 90 minutes.

Only time will tell if the performance differs due to the context of the game.

  • Will recent success at Turf Moor help the reds?

Although Turf Moor can be a difficult place to go and get a result, United have had great success at the Lancashire side's ground in recent years.

You have to go back to 2009 to find the last time Burnley beat United at Turf Moor; a 1-0 victory thanks to Robbie Blake firing the ball past Ben Foster.

Since then, however, United have managed to string together a fine run of results against The Clarets that has seen them only fail to win once – a goalless draw in August 2014.

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Impressively, The Red Devils haven't actually conceded a goal at all at Turf Moor since that Blake strike back in 2009. 

This should instil a high level of confidence into the United squad as they look for another positive result tonight, but Sean Dyche's men will be more than up for the fight.

  • Will Edinson Cavani feature?

It must have been a tough few weeks for Edinson Cavani after the FA handed him a three match ban for a controversial social media post.

But the Uruguayan has claimed that his "heart [is] at peace" and is "rearing to go" again, now that he is available for selection.

The highly-experienced centre forward has already shown the United boss why he has scored so many goals throughout his career and offers Solskjaer a completely different option as part of the attacking line.

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Despite not having the pace that the rest of United's attacking players possess, there is a strong shout for Cavani starting against Burnley – due to the physical nature of the opposition's back line.

James Tarkowski and Ben Mee are both very strong centre-backs and Cavani seems the perfect fit to ruffle their feathers and get through them with his notably sharp movement off the ball.

Solskjaer is spoilt with options up front now that Cavani is back, and perhaps this could be the perfect match to get him in from the get go. 

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