Manchester City will be aiming to consolidate their position at the top of the Premier League standings when they take on Burnley this week.
Manchester City will be aiming to extend their winning streak to 13 games in all competitions when they lock horns against Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday in matchweek 22 of the 2020/21 Premier League.
Pep Guardiola’s men have been a hot streak of late, having gone 19 games unbeaten in all competitions following a 1-0 victory over Sheffield United this weekend, now having won their last 12. This has seen the Cityzens establish a three-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, which they will be aiming to protect or even potentially widen the gap if results on Tuesday go their way.
Burnley, meanwhile, have enjoyed a resurgent run which has allowed them to move away from the battle for survival towards the bottom of the table. Even though they are 16th in the table, Sean Dyche’s men have an eight-point advantage over 18th placed Fulham. Having suffered a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea last time out, the Clarets will be hoping to eke out a positive result on Wednesday.
The reverse fixture, played at the Etihad last year, saw Manchester City hammer Burnley to a 5-0 defeat, with Riyad Mahrez grabbing a hat-trick while Ferran Torres and Benjamin Mendy also scored. Ahead of their latest meeting on Wednesday, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Ashley Barnes, Charlie Taylor and Josh Brownhill missed the weekend game against Chelsea are major doubts for the midweek clash as well. Along with the trio, Burnley could also be without the services of Chris Wood and Robbie Brady, compounding their injury problems.
Sean Dyche will set his team up in a 4-4-2 formation with the team’s primary objective being to defend deep and frustrate the visiting side. Nick Pope, who has been impressive between the sticks, will once again need to be on to the top of his game against a prolific Manchester City side.
James Tarkowski and former Manchester City academy man Ben Mee ought to pair up at the heart of the Clarets’ defence, with Matthew Lowton and Erik Pieters lining up as the two full-backs, who will sit tight and compact alongside the centre-backs.
Jack Cork and Ashley Westwood ought to be the two central midfielders who will look to provide further protection to the Burnley defence. With Brady a doubt, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Dwight McNeil ought to be the two wide midfielders, who will look to try and exploit any space left behind by the opposition full-backs.
With both Barnes and Wood doubts for the clash, Matej Vydra and Jay Rodriguez should be the two centre-forwards for the home team.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Gudmundsson, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Vydra, Rodriguez
Manchester City will once again be without the services of Kevin De Bruyne for the game while Nathan Ake also remains sidelined for the league leaders. Sergio Aguero has returned a negative test for COVID-19, but manager Pep Guardiola has claimed that the striker will not be available for selection on Wednesday, Pep Guardiola confirmed.
Ederson Moraes is the undisputed starter in goal for the Cityzens, with Ruben Dias and John Stones set to resume their partnership at the heart of the defence after Aymeric Laporte started in the last game. Kyle Walker should get the nod on the right while Joao Cancelo should return at left-back after sitting out in the last game.
Rodri should replace Fernandinho at the base of the midfield from where he will look to snuff out any potential counter from the hosts. Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan will be other two central midfielders, with the duo likely to take up much advanced positions to help keep the Burnley players boxed in and under pressure.
Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling should both be reinstated to the starting lineup, slotting out on the flanks while Gabriel Jesus, who scored the only goal of the game against Sheffield United, should continue as the centre-forward for Manchester City.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo; Silva, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling
- Manchester City Asian Handicap -1.5 @ 1.625
- Raheem Sterling to score 2 or more @ 6.50
- Manchester City have won their last seven matches against Burnley across all competitions with an aggregate scoreline of 28-1.
- Since a 1-0 win back in March 2015, Burnley have failed to win in their nine subsequent meetings with Manchester City in the Premier League (D1 L8).
- Manchester City have won their last 12 matches across all competitions. Should they bag another victory at Turf Moor, they will become the first Premier League side to register 13 wins in a row in all competitions since Arsenal between March and August 2002.
- Burnley have won four of their last six games at home (D1 L1) as many as they had in their previous 16 at Turf Moor (D4 L8).
- Manchester City have scored at least three goals in six of their last seven matches against Burnley in all competitions.
Player to Watch
The 29-year-old Algerian international has had a bit of stop-start campaign so far, having been unable to hit a run of consistent form, which has, in turn, led to him being in and out of the side quite a bit. Indeed, he has started only 11 of Manchester City’s 20 Premier League games this term and has not always been able to show his immense quality.
While Mahrez does have a tally of five goals and two assists in 14 league outings, three of those goals came in a single game – in the reverse fixture against Burnley back in November last year. After that, the Algerian went a run of six matches without a direct goal contribution, before scoring and assisting one apiece against West Brom last midweek.
A game against Burnley, thus, would provide him with the ideal platform to kick-start a solid run of form. Mahrez has scored more Premier League goals against the Clarets than he has against any other side (8), including seven in his last four matches.
Burnley 0-3 Manchester City
Burnley, despite their resilient outlook, have never been quite able to keep Manchester City quiet in the recent history of the fixture. The two teams have already met twice this term, once in the league and the Carabao Cup each, with the Cityzens winning both the games with an aggregate scoreline of 8-0.
Pep Guardiola’s men have won 11 of their last 12 meetings against the Clarets (D1), winning their last seven in a row, and that streak is likely to continue on Wednesday. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-0 win for Manchester City at Turf Moor, although it could easily turn out to be a bigger scoreline than that.