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Manchester United v Burnley - Match Preview
Published : 16 Jan 2010 10:15:13
Manchester United have the perfect opportunity to return to winning ways this weekend when Burnley, now managed by Brian Laws, visit Old Trafford.
After crashing out of the FA Cup at home to Leeds United, Sir Alex Ferguson's side stuttered to a 1-1 draw at Birmingham City last weekend and needed a Scott Dann own goal to take a point from the game.
United have won only three of their last six league matches and missed the chance to return to the summit of the table last weekend when three points at a freezing St Andrew's would have lifted them above Chelsea, whose game at Hull City had been postponed.
There are signs that United's injury crisis is finally easing though with only Rio Ferdinand (calf), John O'Shea (thigh) and Owen Hargeaves (knee) definitely out of Saturday's match, while Dimitar Berbatov is once again a doubt.
Ben Foster (back), Nemanja Vidic (calf) and Nani (ankle) could all come into contention but the best news for Ferguson could be the imminent return of veteran goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.
The 39-year-old Dutchman has been caring for his wife who has been recovering from a brain haemorrhage, but she has now made a good recovery and van der Sar could feature in his first game since the Everton match in November.
Darren Fletcher is suspended following his late dismissal for two bookable offences at St Andrew's.
Burnley are still recovering from Owen Coyle's shock decision to leave Turf Moor to take up the managerial reins at Bolton Wanderers, although they did appoint Laws as his successor on Wednesday.
They also have a terrible record away from home, securing only one point from ten matches so far this season and start the game only two points clear of the drop-zone, having failed to win any of their last nine league matches since beating Hull City 2-0 in October.