Manchester United hosts Burnley in the round of 16 of the English Carabao Cup. United’s season has been a roller coaster so far, with the Red Devils beating some of the top teams in England but, on the other side, losing to weaker teams. Erik Ten Hag didn’t bring any consistency, even though there were a couple of matches in which United looked pretty good, capable of even attacking one of the trophies. As for Burnley, they are in excellent shape, winning the past few games in the Championship and confidently holding the top spot in the second tier of English football.
Manchester United (-250) played two games during the World Cup pause, losing both, one to Cadiz, 4-2 and the other to Betis, 1-0. They did lack a couple of players, but that isn’t an alibi for the terrible performances in which United looked like a broken army without a system and any idea of how to behave.
This is yet another proof that Ten Hag didn’t bring any radical and structural changes to the unit. We should see his handwriting in United’s approach, even though it is the second lineup. Several of the first-team players who were in Qatar, are already with the team, and we expect them to play on Wednesday.
The Red Devils have issues in defense, yet that’s mostly due to their inconsistent midfield. With all due respect, that is the most problematic part of the entire team, with Bruno Fernandes as the playmaker who simply isn’t capable of leading the unit right now.
Burnley (+700) have four wins in a row, one in the Carabao Cup against Crawley, 3-1, and three in a row against the Championship rivals, Blackburn at home, 3-0, QPR on the road, 0-3 and at last against Middlesbrough 3-1, also at home.
For the moment, the Clarets are topping the standings in the Championship, with 23 games played and 47 points, six more than the second-seeded Sheffield United, who has a game in hand.
They play very offensive-minded football, and the goal difference in the Championship is 43-24 in 23 matches. In the past ten road games, Burnley has five wins, four draws, and only one loss, which was in early November in Sheffield against United, 5-2.
Lisandro Martinez won’t play this one following his exhausting World Cup quest. The same is with Varane, while other players who ended their participation in the quarterfinals, should be on the bench, with some even starting this event.
Burnley doesn’t have problems with suspensions or injured players.
Head to Head Games
Burnley was relegated from the EPL last year when they met with Man Utd twice. The first game at Trafford ended 3-1, while the other, at Turf Moore, saw a draw, 1-1. Two years ago, Burnley shocked the rivals at Trafford, winning 0-2.
United is the favorite here, but we won’t pick their win, yet instead, over 2.5 goals. The Clarets play offensive-minded football, while hosts tend to make a lot of mistakes in the back line. Meanwhile, United’s offensive potential is great, and we believe it is much safer to pick high-efficiency than anything else.
Pick: Over 2.5 goals -160
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.
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