Having collected just 28 points from 19 Premier League matches this season, United should not really be in a top-four race at this stage of the campaign. Consistency has been a real problem this term, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are currently within touching distance of the fourth Champions League spot.
Indeed, for all of the praise that has come Chelsea's way this season, the Blues have lost seven Premier League matches and sit just four points above United on the same number of matches.
Seven wins from 19 league matches this season is far from a brilliant record, but the Red Devils have only lost one of their last eight in England's top flight, which came away at Watford last weekend.
It was imperative that the team bounced back at home to Newcastle on Boxing Day and that was the case with the hosts recovering from a goal behind to record a 4-1 win over the Magpies, with Anthony Martial (2), Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood all on the scoresheet.
Such has been their inconsistency this season, though, that it would not be a surprise to see a defeat occur at Turf Moor. Their five losses in the league this term have come against Watford, Bournemouth, Newcastle, West Ham United and Crystal Palace, with their record against the bigger sides a lot more impressive.
Solskjaer will need everyone on board in the coming weeks during a very, very busy period. Indeed, next up after this one is a trip to Mikel Arteta's Arsenal in the league on New Year's Day, before travelling to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round of the FA Cup on January 4.
The 20-time English champions will then host Manchester City in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final on January 7 before returning to league action at home to Norwich City on January 11. For what is a relatively small squad, Solskjaer will need to be clever when it comes to rotation in the coming weeks.
The fact that United are four points off fourth but also just four points ahead of 12th-placed Burnley is an indication of the type of season that it has been thus far, but a win at Turf Moor on Saturday night would certainly leave the club in a top-four battle heading into 2020.
While finding consistency has been a problem for United this season, it would also be fair to say that Burnley have struggled to build on the positive results that have arrived during their first 19 league matches.
A record of seven wins, three draws and nine defeats has brought Sean Dyche's side in 24 points, leaving them in 12th position in the table. Only the bottom three have lost more times than the Clarets this term (9), which will be slightly concerning for their supporters at this stage.
The Clarets had also won their last two against Newcastle and Bournemouth ahead of Thursday's trip to Everton, where they suffered a 1-0 defeat courtesy of a second-half header from Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Dyche's side conceded nine times in defeats to Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month, though, and the quick turnaround for this match leaves them slightly vulnerable against a youthful side.
Burnley's Premier League record against United is also disappointing, winning just one of their 10 top-flight meetings with the English giants. That said, the two teams played out a 2-2 draw when they last locked horns at Old Trafford towards the end of January.
The Red Devils have won on their last three visits to Turf Moor without conceding a goal, though, and as Solskjaer's side showed at home to Newcastle, they are capable of blowing teams away in a short period of time despite having some problems on the transition.
Burnley have won four of their last seven Premier League matches on home soil, however, and will be confident of making it an uncomfortable 90 minutes for the visitors on Saturday night.
Burnley Premier League form: LLLWWL
Manchester United Premier League form: DWWDLW
Manchester United form (all competitions): WWDWLW
Burnley are unlikely to be without the services of either Ben Gibson or Aaron Lennon for Saturday's match through injury and illness respectively, but Jeff Hendrick is available after a one-match ban.
Barnes is expected to come back into the side having started on the bench against Everton, while former United midfielder Danny Drinkwater is in contention to feature.
As for United, Scott McTominay is a huge doubt after picking up a knee injury against Newcastle, and it seems unlikely that the Scotland international will be fit to take part at Turf Moor.
Ashley Young for Luke Shaw is another change that could occur at left-back with Solskjaer mindful of the latter's fitness, while Mason Greenwood could also drop to the bench despite his excellent form this term.
Like Burnley, though, the bulk of the XI is expected to be the same from Boxing Day, with in-form pair Rashford and Martial both keeping their spots in the final third of the field.
Daniel James was rested against Newcastle, meanwhile, and it seems likely that the Wales international will be used from the start against Dyche's team.
Burnley possible starting lineup:
Pope; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Wood, Barnes
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; Fred, Pogba; Rashford, Lingard, James; Martial
Head To Head
United lead the overall head-to-head 61 wins to Burnley's 44, with 23 draws also occurring in the 128 clashes between the two teams throughout history.
Burnley's only Premier League victory over the Red Devils was a 1-0 success in August 2009, with the English giants winning five of their nine top-flight fixtures since.
We say: Burnley 0-2 Manchester United
Burnley will fancy their chances of upsetting United with Solskjaer's side extremely poor in their last away game at Watford. The Red Devils have enjoyed their recent visits to Turf Moor, though, and we expect the away team to pick up three important points in Saturday's late start.