December 27, 2014

Injuries have left Manchester City without a true striker, but that has yet to slow them down.

Sunday's match against relegation-threatened Burnley to Etihad Stadium shouldn't, either.

Despite the rash of injuries, City go for another brilliant scoring display in an effort to win a 10th straight match against the Clarets.

Manchester City (13-3-2) may be without the trio of Sergio Aguero (knee), Edin Dzeko (calf) and Stevan Jovetic (hamstring) for a fourth straight match. They've accounted for 27 of the club's 55 goals in all competitions this season, with Aguero's 19 standing as the team lead by 11 on Yaya Toure in second place.

So far, the Citizens haven't been bothered by those absences, winning three straight Premier League matches without them as part of their nine-game overall winning streak.

They've outscored opponents 22-5 during that stretch, and did all of their scoring in the opening 34 minutes of a 3-1 victory over West Brom on Boxing Day.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini sent out a lineup without a recognized forward for the second straight match, altering the tactics enough to keep Man City productive in the offensive third.

"We changed the style of play and we are doing well," Pellegrini told the team's official website. "We are preparing to give the midfielders time to arrive at the edge of the box, we are creating more space and we are using the space in the right moment.

"I was happy because I said last week it is very important to play in another style as we don't have strikers."

David Silva's production is helping, scoring three times in two matches after getting two goals in his first 15 in all competitions. The midfielder had a goal on Boxing Day, but was substituted off in the 63rd minute, while Toure followed six minutes later.

Pellegrini was quick to quell any injury concerns, citing the busy holiday schedule that includes a New Year's Day match versus Sunderland.

"Both are fit and there is no problem," Pellegrini said. "We have to play again in 48 hours so it was important for them to rest, especially David because he is just returning from injury."

City are three points behind first-place Chelsea, who visit Southampton before starting 2015 against Tottenham.

"We are trying to keep winning and not thinking about Chelsea," Pellegrini said. "Chelsea are playing very well also but we have 20 more games to see who will play better in the second half of the season."

Burnley (3-6-9) are in a vastly different situation. They're in the drop zone, one point back of Hull City in 17th and two behind the 16th-place tie between West Brom and Queens Park Rangers.

The Clarets are 1-2-3 in their last six games, but manager Sean Dyche felt encouraged by their 1-0 home defeat to Liverpool on Boxing Day.

"We were excellent, particularly in the first half and on every level," he told the team's official website. "I felt we were good over the 90 minutes, if I'm honest. We looked a real force and to keep that dominance up for 90 minutes is hard.

"I just feel they've picked our pockets; it's as simple as that. We'll have to do that ourselves - and we have done it - but (Friday) is the one that got away, especially after that performance."

Ashley Barnes will try to get back on the score sheet. The forward failed to get a shot on target against the Reds after scoring a goal in each of the two previous matches.

These teams haven't met since Manchester City won 6-1 at Burnley on April 3, 2010. They played to a 3-3 draw in Manchester on Nov. 7, 2009.

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