Nick Pope ‘touch and go’ as Burnley bid for more Old Trafford success

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Ian Parker, PA
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England goalkeeper Nick Pope remains a doubt for Burnley’s trip to Manchester United on Sunday while Dwight McNeil has given Sean Dyche a fresh injury concern.

Pope has been struggling with a shoulder problem since the defeat at Southampton at the start of the month.

Bailey Peacock-Farrell deputised in last Sunday’s 2-1 home defeat to Newcastle, and the Northern Ireland goalkeeper could be called upon again at Old Trafford.

“Popey is touch and go,” Dyche said. “(He) had a decent day today, as with regards his handling and getting himself working again, but we’ll still have to make a call on that tomorrow.

“We’ve had so many injuries, we can’t just throw people into games for the sake of it, we need to protect them and make sure they’re fitter for longer periods.”

And Dyche will also need to check on McNeil, the former United academy player, who picked up a knock in training.

“We thought it had settled down yesterday but it was a bit sore today so we’ll see on him,” Dyche said.

Jay Rodriguez, who missed the Newcastle defeat following the birth of his child, is back in contention, but a player who was on target in last season’s 2-0 win at Old Trafford may face a fight to dislodge either Chris Wood or Matej Vydra given their recent form together.

The pair helped Burnley carve out several chances against the Magpies – they had 24 attempts at goal in total – but two goals in six second-half minutes secured the win for Newcastle thanks to Allan Saint-Maximin’s stunning impact off the bench.

“The mood is good,” Dyche said. “I think the attention to detail has been the bit we’ve missed, just on a couple of occasions and we’ve been punished which can happen in the Premier League.

“They were two pretty strong performances, particularly against Newcastle, but we’ve got to turn those into wins now.”

Burnley are unbeaten in their last four visits to Old Trafford, earning three draws to go with last year’s victory, though they were only denied a win in January 2019 as United scored twice in the last five minutes to salvage a 2-2 draw.

“We’ve had a few good results there but it’s still an incredibly difficult place to go,” Dyche said.

“They’re in good form again, they had an up and down side but since then it’s one loss in 25 (in the league).

“There’s a respect, but when the whistle goes that respect goes out of the window.”

Burnley sit seven points clear of the bottom three after letting a winning position slip in both of their last two games.

While they have been guilty of dropping points against the sides around them, Burnley have picked up wins away to Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton already this season, so will not be treating Sunday as simply a free hit.

“We go into every game with belief, it’s part of what we do,” Dyche said.

“It was great for our fans last year. It’s important up here, playing against the superpower teams, it does a lot around here. It’s good to perform away from home.

“It’s good to beat Liverpool, it’s good to beat Arsenal away, it’s good to beat Manchester United away, because it doesn’t happen very often, they’re top sides, but we’ve shown that we can do it.”