WES Brown and John O'Shea could be scrapping against each other for United's right-back slot later in the season, but for now they are set to be the Reds' centre-back partnership at Burnley.
Turf Moor may be the venue for the have and have-nots in the Premier League but being a top-flight superpower doesn't make you immune from an injury plague as United are discovering already this term.
Old Trafford is awash with internationals but when a casualty list grips - it hits just as hard. It means Brown will be plunged into a start earlier than planned.
Brown, suffered a nightmare follow-up last year to his best-ever personal season in 2007-08. Ankle problems wrecked last term and he started just seven matches.
Another pre-season set-back this summer when he suffered a thigh injury ruled him out of a start against Birmingham last Sunday.
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But the 29-year-old Mancunian came on as a sub for the injured Jonny Evans. With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic ruled out again for the Turf Moor game, Brown will be fast-tracked to a starting XI role.
O'Shea, meanwhile, is set to continue after being named as captain against Birmingham.
The 28-year-old Republic of Ireland international believes it was paramount the champions got off to a winning start.
"You don't want to be playing catch-up, even after only one game. Other teams are looking stronger now so it's important we stamp our authority early on in the season," he said.
"We've opened the last two league seasons with draws so we're happy to have picked up three points against Birmingham. Now we move on with a tough game aagainst Burnley.
"It was very special for me on Sunday to be captain. I've done it in friendlies which is also nice, but to do it in a league game when it really matters, for the manager to have that faith in me, is something special and something I'll always cherish."
Elsewhere, Michael Carrick and Anderson are set to make their first appearances of the season, while Michael Owen could be included after being introduced as a substitute against Birmingham.
Burnley have their own problems as United come to town for the first time since October 1984 when the Reds won 3-0 at Turf Moor in the second leg of a Milk Cup second round tie.
Captain Steven Caldwell was ruled out of Owen Coyle's defence for the opening 2-0 defeat at Stoke City on the club's Premier League debut and will once again be absent against the champions.
The Clarets, however, are hoping to have Reading's Cameroon international Andre Bikey making his debut against United.
He could line up alongside Clarke Carlisle who is relishing the encounter.
"Welcome to the Premier League - this is going to be a steep learning curve for us," he says. "Although we put in a good shift at Stoke with excellent effort and quality on the ball, we just came up short in both penalty boxes."
Burnley (from): Jensen, Eckersley, Edgar, Bikey, Carlisle, Alexander, Mears, Jordan, Kalvenes, Eagles, Blake, McCann, McDonald, Gudjonsson, Easton, Thompson, Rodriguez, Paterson, Elliott, Fletcher, Penny.
Manchester United (from): Foster, Kuszczak, Fabio, De Laet, O’Shea, Evans, Brown, Cathcart, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher, Scholes, Anderson, Gibson, Giggs, Park, Nani, Tosic, Rooney, Berbatov, Owen, Macheda, Welbeck.
Key opponent: Chris Eagles - Former United man will be out to impress
Prediction: Burnley 0 United 1 - The Clarets will be well up for this one but United should be too strong.
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