Manchester City will hope to get back to winning ways as they travel to Turf Moor to take on Burnley in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

In a chaotic game at Etihad Stadium this weekend in the Premier League, Manchester City were the victims of a 5-2 thrashing at the hands of Leicester City in a game that saw Jamie Vardy bag a hat-trick. They will now be aiming to bounce back from the defeat, when they take on Burnley in the Carabao Cup fourth round.

Burnley have had a somewhat rollercoaster of a start to the season, winning both their games in the Carabao Cup while losing both their games in the league. They defeated Millwall 2-0 in the previous round of the cup competition, courtesy an absolute screamer from Josh Brownhill at the brink of half time, with Matej Vydra adding the second late in the game.

Manchester City, on the other hand, were made to work hard by Championship side Bournemouth in the previous round. Goals from youngster Liam Delap and Phil Foden, however, were enough to clinch a 2-1 win and ensure their defence of the trophy wasn’t dead and buried.

The last meeting between City and Burnley was a five-goal thriller, with all goals coming from the hosts at the Etihad. Their previous encounter at Turf Moor did not go too well either for Burnley, as they were beaten 4-1. And ahead of the midweek clash, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.

Team News & Tactics


Sean Dyche has to deal with a number of roster issues (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)
Sean Dyche has to deal with a number of roster issues (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

Sean Dyche will have to cater to several absentees ahead of their Round 4 fixture. This list includes James Tarkowski, who continues to be linked with a move away from the club. The Englishman will undergo a late fitness test to determine his availability for the game.

Robbie Brady and Jay Rodriguez have returned to training, but this game is expected to be too soon for them, while Ben Mee, Jack Cork, and Johann Berg Gudmundsson are still sidelined. Ashley Barnes’ will go through a late fitness test to determine his involvement.

Bailey Peacock-Farrell is expected to start in goal, as he did against Millwall last week. The Northern Irishman kept a clean sheet while saving four shots in the process. Matthew Lowton will start at right-back, while Charlie Taylor slots in on the left. In between them, Kevin Long and Jimmy Dunne will occupy the spots at the heart of the defence.

Dyche is expected to go for a 4-4-2 formation, and in the second bank of four, Dwight McNeil will start as the wide midfielder on the left side. He will be accompanied by 20-year-old Josh Benson and Josh Brownhill in the double pivot. Erik Pieters, a usual resident in the back four, will start on the right side of this midfield.

Finally, in attack, Matej Vydra and Chris Wood will start as the twin strikers, while Barnes is expected to play his first game of the season in some capacity from the bench.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Peacock-Farrell; Lowton, Long, Dunne, Taylor; Pieters, Benson, Brownhill, McNeil; Wood, Vydra

Manchester City

Much like their opponents, Pep Guardiola has a lot of injuries he has to deal with. The primary one being the lack of a first-team striker with both Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero out till mid-October. Ilkay Gundogan is in isolation after testing positive for Coronavirus, while Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva are sidelined as well.

Gabriel Jesus is the latest Manchester City player to be sidelined early into the season. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Gabriel Jesus is the latest Manchester City player to be sidelined early into the season. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Aymeric Laporte and John Stones remain a doubt for the game. Still, the former is expected to make his first start of the season after completing isolation following a positive test result. He will start alongside Taylor Hardwood-Bellis, the 18-year-old who impressed against Bournemouth last week.

Kyle Walker and Oleksandr Zinchenko will be given the responsibility to provide width from the back. Zinchenko, while in talks to be sold, is also the only other option at left-back for Pep except for Benjamin Mendy, who is expected to be tasked with first-team duties on the weekend. This back four will screen Zack Steffen in goal.

Thomas Doyle and Rodri are both expected to retain their place as the double pivot in what is expected to be a 4-2-3-1 again, with Kevin De Bruyne in the no. 10 role behind the striker. We could also see Felix Nmecha make an appearance for the Sky Blues if things go well for them.

Riyad Mahrez made his first start of the season last week against Bournemouth after recovering from the virus and will take his place on the right side of the attack, while Ferran Torres starts on the left. Highly-rated 17-year-old striker Liam Delap is expected to spearhead this attack after marking his debut with a goal against Bournemouth and then a solid display against Leicester City.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Steffen; Walker, Hardwood-Bellis, Laporte, Zinchenko; Doyle, Rodri; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Torres; Delap

Key Stats

  • Manchester City are unbeaten against Burnley in their last ten meetings, with the last loss coming in March 2015 as George Boyd scored the only goal of the game.
  • City have scored 20 goals in the last five meetings against Burnley while conceding just one goal.
  • Manchester City and Burnley have met just twice in the League Cup, back in 1999. The Cityzens prevailed in both the encounters.
  • Pep Guardiola is unbeaten against Sean Dyche in their ten meet-ups across all competitions, winning nine of those encounters (D1).
  • Manchester City have lost just one of their last 11 fixtures at Turf Moor in all competitions (W8 D2).

Player to Watch

Kevin De Bruyne

De Bruyne has been flying high for some time now. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
De Bruyne has been flying high for some time now. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Kevin De Bruyne makes a solid argument for the contender of the best player in the world, with only a handful coming near him, and even fewer better than him. The Belgian ended last season with 13 goals and 20 assists, winning the PFA Player of the Year in the process. He started this season the same way against Wolves, scoring and assisting once each.

With him on the pitch, there are not many other names you can look at. And on Wednesday, he will be vital in breaking down the Burnley double block with his incredibly threaded passes that split defences. He put on a show against the Clarets in their 5-0 win in the FA Cup Round 4 last year, scoring and assisting one goal each.

Additionally, De Bruyne would be livid after their loss against Leicester City and will do anything to go back to scoring, assisting, and most importantly, winning ways.


Burnley 0-4 Manchester City

Manchester City have a habit of bouncing back spectacularly every time they fall victim to a loss, and on Wednesday, the pressure is on Burnley to stop them.

The Clarets are reduced to a paper-thin squad which has to continually compete in the Premier League while hoping for some progress in cup competitions, and they are just not equipped enough to do that, especially against Pep Guardiola’s City. Their run in the Carabao Cup will come to an end this midweek and in rather spectacular fashion.

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