Manchester City will be intent on getting back to winning ways when they travel to Turf Moor to take on Burnley on Tuesday night in then Premier League.
Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City will be hoping to produce a strong reaction and bounce back after a disappointing last week, when they take on Sean Dyche’s Burnley on Tuesday night.
Manchester City were held to a 2-2 draw by Newcastle United on Saturday, which meant they are now eleven points behind league leaders Liverpool and three behind second-placed Leicester City. The Cityzens have won just one of their last five matches in all competitions and manager Pep Guardiola will be aiming to get things back on track immediately, ahead of the busy festive period.
Burnley find themselves in the tenth place in the Premier League table with 18 points from 14 games so far. After picking up impressive wins against West Ham United and Watford, the Clarets succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at home to Crystal Palace this past weekend and will be hoping to bounce back against a Manchester City side that is looking a little out of sorts in the moment.
Ahead of this important clash heading our way from Turf Moor, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Johann Berg Gudmundsson remains sidelined for Sean Dyche’s side, while they will also be sweating over the fitness of left-back Charlie Taylor, who picked up a thigh injury at the weekend. Ashley Westwood is back from suspension, but is a doubt due to a groin issue. Erik Pieters is expected to recover from the knock he picked up against Crystal Palace.
It is unlikely that Dyche will make a lot of changes to the team that started this past weekend. Nick Pope is the obvious pick between the sticks for the hosts, while Ben Mee and James Tarkowski ought to continue as the central defensive partnership.
Phil Bardsley has been preferred over Matthew Lowton at right-back in the last three matches, but that could change on Tuesday night, while Pieters should take up the left-back slot in Taylor’s absence.
With Westwood’s involvement a doubt, Burnley are likely to stick with the central midfield partnership of Jeff Hendrick and Jack Cork once again. Flanking the duo on either side will be Robbie Brady and Dwight McNeil, with Aaron Lennon providing an option from the bench.
Chris Wood has been Burnley’s chief source of goals this season and should hold on to his spot in the side. But, Ashley Barnes could make way for Jay Rodriguez as the New Zealand striker’s partner against Manchester City.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Brady, Hendrick, Cork, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood
Guardiola will once again be without the services of star striker Sergio Aguero, while Oleksandr Zinchenko also remains a major doubt. Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane are long-term absentees for Manchester City, who will also be without midfielder Ilkay Gundogan after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season at the weekend.
The manager might look to make a few alterations to the team with the Manchester derby coming up at the weekend. No changes are expected in goal though, with Ederson set to continue between the sticks. Kyle Walker is expected to start ahead of Joao Cancelo at right-back, while Angelino could be in line for a start on the opposite flank.
Fernandinho could do with some rest especially with a big game coming up at the weekend. That could see Guardiola forced into pairing up John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi at the heart of the defence for the first time since the defeat to Norwich City back in September.
With Gundogan out, Rodri should return to the side as the defensive midfielder on Tuesday night. Kevin De Bruyne is expected to hold on to his spot in the three-man midfield for the current title holders, but captain David Silva could be given a breather, with youngster Phil Foden likely to take the Spaniard’s place in the side.
Riyad Mahrez could be making way for Bernardo Silva on the right flank, but Raheem Sterling ought to to continue on the left wing, while Gabriel Jesus is once again expected to form the focal point of the Manchester City attack in the absence of Aguero.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Angelino; De Bruyne, Rodri, Foden; Silva, Jesus, Sterling
- Manchester City won this exact fixture 1-0 last season, but haven’t won back-to-back away games against Burnley in the top-flight since March 1968.
- Burnley have won just one of their 10 Premier League meetings with Manchester City (D3 L6), beating them 1-0 at Turf Moor in March 2015.
- Manchester City are winless in their last two Premier League away games (1-3 vs Liverpool and 2-2 vs Newcastle). Only once under Pep Guardiola have they gone three without a win on the road (February 2018), with the third game in this run coming at Burnley and including a loss at Liverpool.
- Burnley have won three of their five Premier League home games against reigning champions (60%). Only Manchester United (64%) have won a higher ratio of such games in the competition.
- Manchester City have conceded at least two goals in their last two away league games. They have not conceded 2+ goals in three consecutive away games since a run of four in April 2011.
Player to Watch
With Sergio Aguero sidelined with an injury and his replacement Gabriel Jesus not finding the back of the net in his last eight appearances across all competitions, there is added pressure on Raheem Sterling to deliver the goods for Manchester City.
The 24-year-old England international has started the season strongly, coming up with a return of 15 goals and 5 assists from 20 matches in all competitions so far. Sterling was on the scoresheet in the draw against Newcastle this past weekend and he will be hoping to continue in the same vein of form and fire Manchester City to a win on Tuesday night.
Burnley 1-2 Manchester City
There is no denying that the Manchester City defence has several issues – they have failed to secure a clean sheet in their last seven matches in all competitions – which Burnley have the tools to exploit. And the absence of Sergio Aguero will definitely be felt by the reigning champions.
Burnley at home are always a difficult proposition, but Manchester City find themselves with their back against the walls and will play with added drive and determination as they know that any more points dropped could very well mean a premature end to their hopes of retaining the title. And that is why we at The Hard Tackle are backing Pep Guardiola & co. to come out on top against Burnley.