By 90Min
October 20, 2017

Premier League leaders Manchester City host Burnley at the Etihad on Saturday, looking to continue their red-hot unbeaten start to the season. 

However, yet to concede more than two goals in a game so far this season, seventh-placed Burnley will be hoping to avoid the embarrassing 7-2 scoreline that greeted Stoke last weekend.

Where finances are concerned, this fixture is a true David and Goliath battle. As one of the world's richest clubs, the home side's summer spending topped £220m, compared to Burnley's £36m; which gave them a league rarity of a £6m net profit. 


The discrepancies off the pitch, however, have, in recent years, had a marginal impact on it, with Sean Dyche's Burnley taking points from the Citizens on two of their last three trips to the Etihad. 


Classic Encounter

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It's a long way back since Burnley last secured an away victory against City, winning 5-2 in March 1964. In more recent times, away points have been hard to come by and wins home or away rarer still. 

In their last win, George Boyd, now of Sheffield Wednesday, scored the only goal of the game at Turf Moor in March 2015, when Manchester City were still under the management of Manuel Pellegrini. It was their first win against City in 31 years, but unfortunately it didn't save them from being relegated that same year.


Since Burnley's return to the Premier league last season, much has changed for both teams, with 18 changes in the combined starting lineup compared to their last fixtures.


Key Battles


Nicolas Otamendi v Chris Wood

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While much of the attention on Manchester City is their strength going forward, they still remain vulnerable to a loss of concentration at the back, as shown by conceding two goals to Stoke last week.


Games involving Burnley have averaged 12.50 corners per game and Chris Wood will be looking to beat Nicolas Otamendi to the end of one of those on Saturday. 

The Argentine is famous for his aerial ability and may well need to be on top form to stop a careless goal scuppering City's current record.

Raheem Sterling v James Tarkowski

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At the other end of the pitch, Raheem Sterling will be keen to add to his six league goals and two assists this season, but will face strong opposition from James Tarkowski. 


The centre-back has made more clearances this season than any other player and, as many of Sterling's best chances have come from close shots and rebounded efforts, the pair are likely to be very closely linked in this fixture. 


Team News


Manchester City fans will have to wait a little longer to see the return of defenders Vincent Kompany and Benjamin Mendy, while Burnley are still without Heaton, Walters and Marney. 


Neither team has any suspensions ahead of this fixture.

The home side start their third game in eight days, after their midweek encounter with Napoli on Tuesday, and Guardiola may have one eye on his players' fitness levels ahead of another game against Wolves in the Carabao Cup just a few days later.

Predicted Manchester City XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Danilo; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva; Bernando, Jesus, Sterling.

Predicted Burnley XI:Pope; Lowton Tarkowski, Mee, Ward; Brady, Defour, Hendrick, Cork, 

Arfield; Wood.


Prediction

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There appears to be only one way in which this game will go on Saturday, with Manchester City odds on favourites to extend their win of games to 11 and keep their place at the top of the table, with Burnley finishing the weekend no lower than 10th.

Both of Guardiola's games against Sean Dyche have finished 2-1. With Aguero scoring 3 of those goals.

Despite the Argentine's position in the line up uncertain, City are expected to continue their run of form and should beat last seasons tally, but may still be short of a clean sheet.


Prediction: Manchester City 4 - 1 Burnley

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