Juan Mata: Man United facing must-win game in top-four race

Juan Mata warns Manchester United that they need to collect maximum points against Clarets

Juan Mata says Manchester United must beat Burnley to stay in pole position to secure a place in next season’s Champions League.

The Red Devils are in the fourth place ahead of Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference following a 1-1 draw with West Ham United at Upton Park on Sunday.

We have to get the three points at home, we know that, and that’s what we are working for

Juan Mata

However, Arsenal and Liverpool are chasing their bitter rivals in the race for a top-four finish ahead of a cluster of mid-week fixtures in the Premier League.

Writing in his blog, One Hour Behind, Mata emphasised the importance of the Burnley clash on Wednesday ahead of their FA Cup fifth-round clash against Preston North End.

Mata said: “We did better in the FA Cup than in the Premier League, nevertheless we were able to rescue one point thanks to Daley’s good volley at the end. We saw all the good work that West Ham is doing this season, and they were a threat to David several times. They are always tough to beat at home, and their position on the table is well deserved.

“Against Cambridge in Old Trafford we were able to win, so we are through to play Preston in the next round. But that is Monday next week. Before that we play at home against Burnley and we must win this one because the race for the Champions League spots is now very close. We have to get the three points at home, we know that, and that’s what we are working for.”

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Mata was an unused substituted for the stalemate with the Hammers after manager Louis van Gaal opted to brought on Marouane Fellaini to great effect.

The Spain international has scored five goals and has made three assists in 20 Premier League appearances under the Dutch coach this season.

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