Manchester City looks to pad its lead in the Premier League even more with a trip to Turf Moor.

By 90Min
February 02, 2018

Burnley will play host to league leaders Manchester City in Saturday's lunchtime kickoff. The Clarets have not won in nine games in all competitions, but impressively still sit in seventh place. Sean Dyche is on course to achieve Burnley's highest league finish since they came sixth and narrowly missed out on European football in 1974. 

Manchester City, meanwhile, look set to break some records of their own. Should they win at Turf Moor on Saturday they will broaden the gap at the top to 18 points - the biggest margin of victory in a Premier League campaign. Further records for most points and most goals in a single Premier League season are also well within their sights. 

It is the third time these two sides have met this campaign and Dyche will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the last two results which ended in Manchester City wins; both by a three-goal margin. 

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the clash at Turf Moor:


Classic Encounter

Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Manchester City have won six of the last seven games at Turf Moor. The only Burnley victory in the last 18 encounters between these two sides came back in March 2015. A classic Dyche performance saw Burnley grind out a famous 1-0 win over the Sky Blues, courtesy of a fine George Boyd half-volley.

It was a loss that proved costly for Manuel Pellegrini who failed to retain the Premier League title but ultimately wasn't enough to secure Burnley Premier League survival. The circumstances will be very different heading into Saturday's game.


Key Battles

Ben Mee vs Sergio Agüero 

Burnley have only scored 20 league goals this season compared to Manchester City's 73. With a mere eight of these coming at home Burnley have scored the fewest home goals of any side in the Premier League.

A seventh-place standing is down to their impressive defensive record. The Claret's have conceded less than every side bar Chelsea, Manchester United and Saturday's opponents, Manchester City. 

An enormous factor in this has been the outstanding performances of stand-in captain Ben Mee who has excelled since the departure of Michael Keane.

In Sergio Agüero, however, Dyche's team have a man to fear. Manchester City's top scorer was to thank for their 4-1 comeback win over Burnley last month. The Argentine's brace kicked Burnley out of the FA Cup 3rd round and another goal in their Premier League encounter last October means that Agüero goes into this weekend's showdown having already netted three times against the Clarets this season.

Ben Mee will again have the responsibility of dealing with the cardinal member of Manchester City's forward line.


Team News

Manchester City key man David Silva is a doubt after being substituted in the first half against West Bromwich Albion midweek. He joins Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus on the sidelines. 

The former has been ruled out for a minimum of six weeks with ankle ligament damage, while the latter continues his recovery from a knee injury suffered against Crystal Palace on New Year’s Eve. 

Fernandinho will play having avoided punishment for standing on Grzegorz Krychowiak's leg during the midweek clash with West Brom. 

Burnley will be without regular Steven Defour who is facing a minimum of two months out and will undergo knee surgery on an ongoing problem.

Defender James Tarkowski may lineup alongside Ben Mee should he recover from the groin injury that kept him out of midweek draw against Newcastle.

Potential Burnley Starting Lineup: Pope; Bardsley, Mee, Long, Taylor; Guðmundsson, Cork; Arfield, Lennon, Hendrick; Barnes.

Potential Manchester City Starting Lineup: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Stones, Danilo; De Bruyne, Fernandinho; Gundogan, B Silva, Agüero; Sterling.


Prediction

With Burnley's lack of firepower and Manchester City's relentless pressure, there seems only one outcome on Saturday. Dyche will lineup his side to allow the Premier League leaders to dominate possession and attempt to restrict their movement within the box.

There is no question the Claret's would take a point now, and it's likely Saturday's game will be a question of how long Burnley can hold out. The previous two encounters between these sides have finished with clear three-goal margins in City's favor but only one of the seven goals Pep Guardiola's men scored came in the first half - a penalty duly dispatched by Agüero.

Burnley will try to nullify Manchester City and see the game out but eventually the runaway league leaders will find a way to breach their back line.

Prediction: Burnley 0-1 Manchester City

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