It has already been confirmed that United will have to do without Antonio Valencia, Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Eric Bailly due to injuries.
Leicester City managed to expose Smalling’s frailty and scored a 94th-minute equaliser, a goal that sparked a wave of criticism from the United manager.
Matteo Darmian was also nowhere to be seen when United’s team bus arrived at the Lowry Hotel on Monday night, according to the Manchester Evening News, and the full-back is likely to sit out his fifth Premier League game in a row.
Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial, Victor Lindelof, Paul Pogba, Axel Tuanzebe and Scott McTominay also did not arrive at the hotel, but they are expected to make the squad against Burnley.
United sit second place in the table but welcome the high flying Burnley to Old Trafford.
Burnley come into the fixture on the back of a defeat, but remain in seventh place, just two points off a spot in Europe.
Manchester United 2017/18 Fixtures
Burnley (H) – Tues Dec 26
Southampton (H) – Sat Dec 30
Everton (A) – Mon Jan 1
Stoke City (H) – Sat Jan 20
Tottenham (A) – Wed Jan 31
Huddersfield (H) – Sat Feb 3
Newcastle (A) – Sun Feb 11
Sevilla (A) – Wed Feb 21 (Champions League)
Chelsea (H) – Sun Feb 25
Mourinho has praised Burnley’s form and believes the Clarets are fighting for the right to play in Europe next season.
He said: ‘If the objective is to finish top ten, they will do it. If the objective is to fight for European positions, they are there so they have the right to fight, so it’ll be a difficult opponent.
‘If you compare what they are doing with the initial objectives, it’s a very good season.
Confirmed Squad Members
Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Sergio Romero
Defenders: Joel Pereira, Phil Jones, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young
Midfielders: Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Strikers: Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Zlatan Ibrahimovic
‘I think the record of goals [Burnley] conceded speaks for itself. They conceded three in the last one but before that they were really amazing so they defend very very well.
‘Everybody knows the way they play, if you expect them to play creative beautiful football, they don’t do that.
‘But if you talk about direct objective, pragmatic and play with their strength, I think they are very very good.
‘They’ve worked with the same manager for a few years now, I think the identification between the players, the style of play, the manager, the manager’s ideas is very good, so what they do they do well.’
He added: ‘But what I call the December injuries in English football are arriving, some players are leaving the pitch after 15 or 20 minutes, some others don’t resist on the 90, depends on many factors but we open the door for the December injuries.’
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