Manchester City look to boost their Premier League title ambitions as they host Burnley at the Etihad Stadium.
Victory could take City as high as eighth if Crystal Palace fail to beat Newcastle on Friday evening, whilst Burnley could open a four point gap to the relegation zone with a win before West Brom face Sheffield United in Saturday Night Football.
Nathan Ake is Man City’s only absentee as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury suffered on international duty for the Netherlands.
Burnley could be without Nick Pope due to concussion protocols after taking a whack to the head during Monday’s win against Crystal Palace.
Robbie Brady and Dale Stephens (both hamstring) are doubts whilst Jack Cork (ankle) is continuing to rebuild his match fitness as part of his rehabilitation after five months out injured.
- Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 11 meetings against Burnley in all competitions (W10, D1).
- Burnley are winless in their last 14 trips to the Citizens (D4, L10).
- City have conceded just one goal in their last five home matches against Burnley in all competitions, whilst scoring 22 goals themselves during those games.
- City’s Riyad Mahrez has hit the woodwork once this season, matching last season’s total in 33 league appearances.
- No player from City or Burnley has produced more headed clearances this season than the Clarets’ James Tarkowski who has made 16 headed clearances in six appearances.
Man City seem to be dominating games at minute but lacking that finishing touch which proved costly at Tottenham last Saturday, before scraping a narrow win at Olympiacos in midweek against some resolute defending which is a worry given City’s quality because they should be scoring more goals than they do at present.
Burnley meanwhile put in a scrappy win over Palace in a game which saw the Clarets show more hunger in their attacks than any other game so far this season, although they will need a defensive masterclass to get a result here.
Sean Dyche might very well be wise to write off this game in terms of a result and focus on trying to not shift many goals in terms of goal difference, given their poor form here but City lack that final touch at present which might offer hope if can launch swift counter-attacks.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-0 Burnley
Result: Manchester City 5-0 Burnley