Manchester City welcome Burnley to the Etihad on Saturday afternoon as the Blues go in search of just their fourth win of the Premier League season following the dropping of more points, last time out, away to Spurs.
City, who successfully qualified from the group stages of the Champions League for the eighth successive season on Wednesday in Athens courtesy of a single goal by Phil Foden, suffered a damaging defeat to seeming title challengers Spurs last weekend.
Despite having 22 attempts on goal, City failed to score once again at Spurs’ new stadium as Pep Guardiola became the latest victim of a typical Jose Mourinho, big game victory. The loss leaves City eight points behind Spurs and Liverpool who currently seat the top two places in the Premier League table.
Since last Saturday, City have played two fixtures and have created a whopping forty four chances, including 16 attempts on target; but worryingly managed to score just one goal. City have only been able to find the net on ten occasions so far in the league, just six less than Burnley - who scored their first home goal of the league season on Monday evening, when they beat Crystal Palace. So, despite City having scored fifteen goals in their last three home games against the Clarets, Saturday’s game might not follow the emerging trend.
Ahead of the 106th meeting between the two North-West clubs, here is everything you need to know about Manchester City’s game against Burnley.
Sergio Agüero featured in the latter stages of the Champions League victory in midweek as the club record goalscorer looks to return to full fitness and end his second longest goal draught ahead of a relentless month of upcoming fixtures. The Argentine wasn’t the only South American player to return from the bench in midweek as Fernandinho also marked his comeback from a muscular injury.
Benjamin Mendy played for the majority of the game in Greece as he got his first minutes since early October so could also feature this weekend.
Centre-back Nathan Aké has been pictured in training this week as City look to have a fully fit squad for the first time this season, ahead of the hectic festive period. Kyle Walker and Kevin De Bruyne are both expected to feature this weekend after the pair were rested in midweek.
Sean Dyche could be forced into handing Northern Ireland goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell his Premier League debut after Nick Pope suffered a head injury on Monday night. Robbie Brady and Dale Stephens are also expected to miss out due to injury.
Head To Head:
Burnley have failed to win in their last fourteen attempts at the Etihad, with them winless this century when visiting City. They have also managed to win just one of the past 25 meetings.
Overall, Manchester City have won 50 of the past 105 meetings and have drawn 25 and lost 30. They have scored 211 goals and conceded 136 with an average of 2.01 goals a game against the Clarets.
The first ever meeting between the two sides came back in October 1897, where City lost 3-1, while the most recent meeting came in the League Cup in September as City came out 3-0 winners. The two sides last met in the league in June, where Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez both bagged braces in a 5-0 thrashing.
City currently have their lowest points tally since Mark Hughes’ season at the club in 2008/2009 and haven’t scored less than eleven goals from the opening eight games of a season since Stuart Pearce was in charge in 2006. We all know the extreme lengths Pearce once went for a goal…
Pep Guardiola’s side currently find themselves in thirteenth place, eight points from Spurs although a game in hand and now also one one point behind Manchester United. City have dropped points five times this season with just two wins in their past five games. They have though lost only twice in all competitions so far this season with a much better looking defensive unit courtesy of summer signing Ruben Dias.
Despite the difficulties in scoring, City’s strikers have been in form in this fixture. Sergio Aguero has nine goals in his last nine appearances while Gabriel Jesus has scored in his past half a dozen games at the Etihad and has three goals against Burnley.
Alarm bells are certainly ringing and it isn’t a very happy place at Turf Moor with Sean Dyche’s side having managed just one win from their opening eight games. Although, like City, Burnley do have a game in the hand they currently find themselves in 17th place with one win, two draws and five defeats so far this season. As mentioned, they are also the joint lowest scores so far this season with just four goals.
Lee Mason, who took charge of the League Cup final between City and Aston Villa last season will be in the middle at the Etihad on Saturday. The Lancashire based referee has taken charge of seven games so far this season with his most recent game actually coming in the Championship last weekend, where he took charge of a 0-0 draw between Wycombe and Brentford.
Mason refereed Burnley’s 4-2 defeat to Leicester in September and will be joined by assistant referees Richard West and Adrian Holmes this weekend. Anthony Taylor, who took charge of Inter Milan’s clash with Real Madrid will be the fourth official while Robert Jones (VAR) and Scott Ledger (AVAR) will be overseeing the technology from London.
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