Burnley may have to wait a while to secure their first win of the season, as a tough trip to the Etihad awaits on Saturday as they face Manchester City.
Manchester City produced one of their best games of the season so far with a pulsating 2-2 draw at Anfield. The result keeps them in touching distance of league leaders Chelsea and second-placed Liverpool, as Pep Guardiola aims to maintain momentum with those sides.
Manager Pep Guardiola would be happy with his team’s resilience in the last week of club football before the international break. The Premier League champions faced some tough tests away from home as they maneuvered difficult trips to Chelsea, PSG and Liverpool. They won at Stamford Bridge and secured an entertaining draw at Anfield while losing to the French side.
Phil Foden was the star for Manchester City at Anfield, scoring their first goal and setting up the superb equaliser from Kevin De Bruyne. At the Etihad, City have been impeccable, keeping four clean sheets in an unbeaten run. Only Chelsea have conceded fewer goals this season than Guardiola’s side this season.
The next visitors at the Etihad are Burnley, who are looking for their first win of the season. The home of Manchester City may not be the apt place to dream of securing three points for Sean Dyche’s men, who have shown some level of improvement during the last matchday.
Burnley only managed to secure a draw against fellow strugglers Norwich City, a result Sean Dyche will be disappointed with. The Canaries game represented a serious opportunity for the Clarets to get their first win on board, and instead, they might have to wait a while to dream of getting a decent result in the league.
Against Manchester City, they have a very slim chance of getting anything from the game, like the Champions’ form on home turf shows. Then again, the Premier League has been the theatre of surprises, and the Clarets can pull one off if they are at their best.
Team News & Tactics
PEP ? He (Torres) will be out two and a half months, three months. Zinchenko is back, Gundogan is back. Except for Ferran, the rest I think are ok.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 15, 2021
Guardiola will be without his Brazilian stars after the issues related to Covid still pose a problem for South American players. This means Gabriel Jesus and Ederson Moraes are set to miss the Burnley clash. Zack Steffen could come in place of Ederson in the side, as he has proven to be a reliable option between the posts previously.
Furthermore, Ferran Torres was ruled out for nearly three months with a metatarsal break during the international break. His absence puts more pressure on Guardiola, who has been heavily criticised for failing to sign a striker. Torres looked like a solution in the striker role, although his absence might open the doors for Raheem Sterling.
The England international had been in the news leading up to this game. Many believe that Sterling might move away from the club as Guardiola continues to sideline him. The manager might choose to pick him in attack, although it’s unlikely he’ll replace Jack Grealish on the left side. There is also Riyad Mahrez, who is also raring for a start on the right.
Incidentally, Guardiola could hand Foden a place up top in the absence of Jesus, Torres and a real striker. Further back in defence, John Stones might find himself on the bench again, with Guardiola looks to retain the partnership of Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte. Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo will play at full-backs.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Steffen; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Silva; Mahrez, Foden, Grealish
Sean Dyche does not have welcome news ahead of an already tough visit to the Etihad. There are as many as six players with a chance to miss the match, with Ben Mee a certain absentee. The Clarets captain tested positive for Coronavirus, and Dyche will find it difficult to replace him in the side.
Nathan Collins will keep his place in central defence alongside Newcastle United target James Tarkowski. After suffering a major knock, Charlie Taylor is also a big doubt, while Dyche ponders over a viable replacement in the team for the left-back.
He has Maxwell Cornet as an option, along with Erik Pieters. Dyche would like to keep Cornet in an attacking role given his history against Manchester City. He has scored four goals in three appearances against Guardiola’s side in recent seasons with Lyon.
Connor Roberts is available again after successfully playing for Wales during the international break in a more positive outlook. However, Dale Stephens remains out, while Dyche will assess the situations with Kevin Long and Jay Rodriguez, who returned from recent injuries.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Collins, Pieters; McNeil, Westwood, Brownhill, Cornet; Wood, Barnes
- Manchester City have scored at least 4-goals in their last five games at home against Burnley in all competitions.
- Manchester City have the second-best defensive record in the league, trailing only leaders Chelsea.
- Manchester City have won their last 8-games against Burnley in all competitions.
- Manchester City have kept a clean sheet in seven of their last 8-games against Burnley in all competitions.
- Burnley have failed to win their last 10-games in the Premier League.
Player to Watch
The star of the show for Manchester City at Anfield, Foden, kept up with his good form during the international break with a starring performance against Andorra. Playing in a rather deeper role for England, Foden showed his capability to execute different roles with great results.
As per our prediction, Guardiola could play Foden in a false striker role, given the team will miss Torres for a prolonged period. Foden might give it a try to secure the position for himself for the foreseeable future, and there’s hardly any doubts over his capabilities to do so.
Manchester City 3-0 Burnley
Manchester City are overwhelming favourites based on their current form, home record this season and their recent head-to-head against Burnley. In any case, Guardiola’s side will be a hot property for Burnley to handle, especially given the venue of the clash.
Manchester City have kept four clean sheets this season at home, and Burnley have shown a lack of desire when it comes to scoring goals this term. The Clarets are expected to wait longer for their first win of the season while Manchester City will collect three points and keep up with their rivals up top.