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Manchester United-Burnley Preview
Jose Mourinho and his Manchester United players are saying all the right things amidst their terrible start to the Premier League season.
Perhaps a good thing for the Red Devils, Burnley find themselves in worse position thus far in the campaign.
The Red Devils will try to avoid losing three consecutive league matches for the first time in almost three years when they visit the winless Clarets on Sunday.
Things started rosy for United (1-0-2) with a 2-1 season-opening victory over Leicester, but six goals conceded in back-to-back losses to Brighton & Hove Albion and at home to Spurs have their faithful in a tizzy. Man United has allowed seven goals through their first three league games for the first time in 49 years and they haven't dropped three in a row in the league since December 2015.
Naturally, the players, and even embattled boss Mourinho, are speaking positive tones amidst the chaos that sees Man U entering the weekend 13th in the table, already six points adrift from the leaders, star Paul Pogba apparently still unhappy and Mourinho believing he remains untouchable.
"I think one thing is clear: the team is united," Mourinho insisted to the club's official website.
Defender Luke Shaw also followed the same company line as United try to put behind them the frustrating 3-0 loss to Tottenham last weekend.
"You see a lot of things in the media that go on about what our dressing room is like, but we have a really good spirit, a really good group of lads who want to work and achieve big things here," Shaw said. "We have a group of hard workers and amazing talents, everywhere you look on the field. We have got to start taking our chances and I am sure we will start winning games.
"We have got to pick ourselves back up, keep working hard and we need to pick up points after two losses. We need to win and win in a good way."
That could come against Burnley (0-1-2), who also have yielded seven goals through three matches and are likely still physically weary after the 1-1 draw with Olympiakos on Thursday that knocked them out of the Europa League, 4-2 on aggregate to the Greek side.
"It's an experience I'm sure some of us never dreamed we'd have," forward Sam Vokes told Burnley's official website about the small club playing in European competition for the first time in more than a half century. "It's been one we've been proud to take part in and we'll keep our heads high.
Though Burnley's stay in Europa was somewhat brief, they can now fully focus on fitness and getting back on track in the Premier League.
"It's important we get back to our day job and concentrate on the league," Vokes added. "We know in some of the Premier League games we haven't quite been at our best and so it's important that we take the positives from (Thursday night) and build on that for Sunday."
That might not be easy considering the Clarets are 0-3-4 against Man United since beating them 1-0 at Turf Moor in August 2009. The teams drew at Old Trafford last season before Anthony Martial, who was offered a new contract by United, scored in the Red Devils' 1-0 victory at Burnley in January.
Updated August 31, 2018