Burnley striker Ashley Barnes set to return against Manchester United, with Paul Pogba expected to start for Reds

Ashley Barnes is in line to return against Manchester United tomorrow, having been rested at Everton on Boxing Day.


The six-goal striker was on the bench at Goodison Park as a groin problem is managed, with Jay Rodriguez coming in to start after his winner at Bournemouth on Saturday.

Ashley Barnes

Ashley Barnes

Dyche explained afterwards that two games in three days was a big ask for Barnes, who was also rested earlier this month at Spurs, which was a third game in a week.

Dyche said: “He has a chance and that is part of the plan as to which game do you choose, because two in three days does affect people like Barnesy from a recovery point of view, and any kind of knocks.

“But the fully fit lads I expect them to recover well and be right, and ones like Barnesy we have to monitor and be careful, and make those decisions on what game is right and what game is not.

“Today was one we considered to be not, to allow him the chance to be possibly playing and starting on Saturday.”

The rest of the squad will get on with it amid the busy schedule, with Jeff Hendrick returning after suspension, while Aaron Lennon could return after illness: “They should be in good shape, as you can imagine I am not buying into that.

“Scientifically it is not ideal, but emotionally and intelligence wise you should have enough in your locker to understand what your body will do, and the demands of the modern game, that is just the way it goes.

“Don't forget as well that they have ever more support these players on every level, so they should have the capability to recover the best they can. I will be expecting my players to be ready to go.”

Burnley were 10 minutes from a third-successive clean sheet at Everton before Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s winner, ending a run of two straight wins: “We make sense of it and talk about it but the resilience comes from not being too affected if you are losing or winning.

“The Premier League doesn't owe you anything. If you lose, how quickly can you shrug it off.

“We always debrief the games, but part of the mentality of the group and the good side of every season being a massive challenge for us, is that you grow with that resilience.

“We want to go into every game to win, but you understand that is very difficult, so you will have to take a few knocks along the way, and it is how you come out of those knocks and the performances you can give.

“No matter what, we need to get enough points on the table.”

Manchester United come to Burnley on the back of a 4-1 win over Newcastle at Old Trafford, a response to Saturday’s defeat at bottom side Watford.

United are the only side to have taken a point off leaders Liverpool, and won at neighbours Manchester City, but Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side have struggled for consistency.

Paul Pogba is expected to start, and Dyche said: “We haven't seen him much this season, so Ole might look at it slightly differently.

“He is a top player obviously, but they have a lot of top players, and from the outside in, they are mainly looking at consistency.

“Not just week in, week out, but also within a game because they have had spells where they have been quiet, and spells when they have been electric.

“Hopefully they have a quiet spell against us and we play very well, because against the top sides you need to. We will prepare properly for us to go and play and see where it takes us.”

United have impressed with their counter attacking football, but struggled to break down organised defences, which has been Burnley’s forte.

However, Everton’s winner came as the Clarets lost possession in their own half and were unpicked in transition: “I wasn't concerned with that today, but generally transition is really important whether you are defending to attack or going from attack to defend.

“The difference today on that key moment was the speed they got it wide and put it in.

“If they have one more pass, we probably get over to it quicker.

“So transition is important in the Premier League every week and even countering the counter.”