Manchester City take on Burnley in the Premier League as Pep Guardiola’s side bid to build on their win against Arsenal.
Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
Key Stat: Manchester City have won eight of their last nine matches against Burnley, and have only lost once in this fixture since 1975.
Expert Verdict: Manchester City were sharp on their return against a lacklustre Arsenal team and that bodes well as they look to build momentum going forward. Another performance like that should prove too much for Burnley - the history of this fixture showcases City's dominance against them.
Eric Garcia is doubtful after suffering a head injury in a collision with team-mate Ederson last time out. With so many fixtures to come, there is likely to be rotation. Phil Foden, Rodri, Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero could all come into the starting XI.
Sergio Aguero – Had to settle for a place on the bench last time out but still managed an assist via the goal post. He has 23 goals to his name this season.
Raheem Sterling – Got back in the goals after a dip in form prior to lockdown. His opener was his 21st goal of the season in all competitions.
Kevin de Bruyne – Scored his tenth goal of the season and his range of passing was as if he had never been away.
Manchester City impressed on their return to action as they beat Arsenal 3-0. Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden all scored as the Blues got back to winning ways after a Manchester derby defeat in their final game before lockdown.
Defenders:Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy
Midfielders:Phil Foden, Rodri, Kevin de Bruyne
Forwards:Bernardo Silva, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling
Johan Berg Gudmundsson is not back in full training yet and Chris Wood is in a similar position. Neither are likely to be risked, though Wood’s absence will be more keenly felt given Ashley Barnes has also been ruled out. Matthew Lowton is fully fit, however.
Jay Rodriguez – With the other two strikers possibly missing out, Rodriguez will lead the line as he bids to add to his five goals so far.
Ben Mee – The former City youth team captain has impressed against his former team before, and he will have his work cut out again in this one.
Nick Pope – Stepped up again this season to keep former City favourite Joe Hart out and this is likely to be another busy night at the Etihad for him.
Burnley were unbeaten in five matches before lockdown, drawing three of them – including the last two in a row against Newcastle (0-0) and Tottenham (1-1). Chris Wood scored their goal in the latter.
Defenders:Matthew Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Erik Pieters
Midfielders:Dwight McNeil, Jack Cork, Ashley Westwood, Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady
Burnley have only beaten Manchester City once since 1975, and since that win they have lost eight and drawn one. City beat them three times last season, scoring 11 goals and conceding none, and they thrashed them at Turf Moor in December too. Gabriel Jesus scored twice and Rodri and Riyad Mahrez also netted in a 4-1 win – Robbie Brady scoring Burnley’s last consolation. Here are the results of the last five matches:
Dec 03, 2019: Burnley 1-4 Manchester City
Apr 28, 2019: Burnley 0-1 Manchester City
Jan 26, 2019: Manchester City 5-0 Burnley
Oct 20, 2018: Manchester City 5-0 Burnley
Feb 03, 2018: Burnley 1-1 Manchester City
Manchester City have an excellent record against Burnley and it should have been an ominous sign for the Clarets that City looked so good on their return to action in mid-week.
Arsenal’s lacklustre performance undoubtedly helped them, but City’s 3-0 win did not flatter them in the slightest.
Kevin de Bruyne was a class above once again, and City did it without Sergio Aguero or Bernardo Silva in their starting line-up either.
With that sort of strength in depth, Pep Guardiola can keep his stars fresh and that will pay dividends if they are looking for momentum through this tight period of fixtures.
Burnley are without Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes – two big physical strikers who have caused City’s defence some problems before.
That is a blow for Sean Dyche’s side and further works in City’s favour.
They would have been big favourites for this game anyway, but all things considered it would be a big surprise if they did not win handsomely.
Manchester City are favourites to win against Burnley and can only be backed at 1/7 to win with Betway.
Having been impressive up front against Arsenal last time out, however, over 2.5 goals will return 1/3 with Bet365, Ladbrokes and Betway.
City to win and over 2.5 goals returns 17/40 with Betway.
Having only been on the bench last time out, Sergio Aguero is 4/9 with 888sport to score at any time.
Manchester City looked good last time out and can continue their excellent recent run of results against Burnley.