United v Burnley: Preview
DARREN Fletcher will miss Manchester United's Barclays Premier League encounter with Burnley at Old Trafford. The Scotland captain was sent off for two bookable offences at Birmingham last week and serves a one-match suspension. Rio Ferdinand and Owen Hargreaves will not be considered despite edging their way closer to a return after long-term absences but Edwin van der Sar is expected to feature for the first time since November 21. United will be gunning for revenge after their 1-0 defeat at Turf Moor earlier this season. The added dimension this time around is Owen Coyle's exit for Bolton and the installation of Brian Laws as his replacement. Managing in the top flight is new territory for Laws, whose CV includes spells at Scunthorpe and Grimsby before he moved on to Sheffield Wednesday. Yet United boss Sir Ferguson is not surprised at the appointment. "They had to make a quick decision because of the position they are in," he said. "When you are in that bottom half of the league it is never easy. All the teams down there will be battling to avoid relegation. "Brian Laws has got experience and that is probably what they need at the moment." Laws faces major problems in central defence for his first match in charge. Skipper Steven Caldwell (groin) is definitely out while Clarke Carlisle is rated as only 50-50 with a side strain. Meanwhile Andre Bikey is absent on African Nations Cup duty. Michael Duff is expected to continue at centre-back and if Carlisle fails to make it that could mean a league debut for young Canadian defender David Edgar, signed in the summer from Newcastle. Manchester United (from): Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Neville, Rafael, De Laet, Brown, Evans, Evra, Fabio, Valencia, Park, Carrick, Scholes, Anderson, Gibson, Giggs, Obertan, Rooney, Berbatov, Owen, Welbeck, Diouf. Burnley (from): Jensen, Carlisle, Edgar, Eagles, Alexander, Elliott, McDonald, Fletcher, Duff, Nugent, Blake, Thompson, Penny, Guerrero, Gudjonsson, Kalvenes, Eckersley. United league form: WLWWD Burnley league form: DDLDL Key opponent: Chris Eagles - former Red will be keen to impress at his old ground Prediction: United 2 Burnley 0 - it should be a routine win despite the club's current strife Agree with the prediction? Have your say. Click here for all the latest odds from Betfred.
Related Manchester United News