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Burnley will come up against a Manchester United team under the management of Ralf Rangnick for the first time tonight since he came in to lead the team until the end of the season.

With them having played at Newcastle earlier in the week, he hasn’t had a press conference, but said after the draw at St. James’ Park that they would need to defend from the front.

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Rangnick, referring to his central defenders, said: “Raphael (Varane) hasn’t played for five or six weeks and even before the Tottenham game he was injured, so in total over the last three months, he hasn’t played that many games.

“Yes, he made a mistake before the first goal that we conceded, but apart from that, I think he was okay. I wouldn’t say he was outstanding, and the same with Harry Maguire, but they did okay.

“Our problem again was that we allowed them too many transitional moments and this is not only a problem of the centre backs, it is a problem of the whole team and it starts up front.

“You can speak also about the role of the no. 10s in that kind of formation. I don’t think it makes sense to speak about the individual performances of players. We need to get better as a team.”

Sean Dyche takes his team into a game for the first time in almost three weeks (yes, we can hear Jürgen Klopp ranting that we have been given an advantage) and the Clarets’ boss said: “We are where we are. We still think that we have progressed from earlier in the season. The margins are important and the success of getting that right, but we’re going into the game in good shape, we want to press hard and press high and take games on.”

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With the last three games called off, he said: “Ideally we would have liked to have played games. We’ve done the in house work the best we can, but we’ve made sure we’ve used the time wisely with our players. We’ve done what we think we can to be in good shape for the next game, whatever comes our way and whatever challenge, we’ll take it on.

“There is a balance of still doing the basics, making sure that you are defending well, and changing games by scoring goals, so we focus on that while trying to add in things that will make a difference.

“We know that it’s tough to go to Old Trafford and take on Manchester United, and we know that we need everything on our side. We will be ready to play. It’s a fantastic ground with that history and feel. We’ve done reasonably well there and we must take up the challenge there to the best of our ability.

“We have been training, we have been active and know the challenges. We’ve tried to keep the focus on the training schedule to prepare mentally to go again as we go forward.

“I tend to deal with the reality of what I do. We are where we are and there are reasons for that. We know the challenges and we have to trust in each other. You are always adjusting to the challenge. It doesn’t matter what position you are in the league table, but the core is strong and we are flexible to keep moving forward.

“We have got the right mentality and that’s the key marker. We must focus on the fact that we have good players and must do the right things. I think that we are ready for the latest challenge that comes around. We keep adding to what we are doing and finding the freedom to express ourselves in games.”

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