It was a grim weekend for both Burnley and Manchester City as they failed to muster more than a point between them.
Sean Dyche’s men were dismal in their 2 – 0 home defeat to Crystal Palace while on Tyneside, City stumbled to a 2 – 2 draw with Newcastle United.
That’s left them barely hanging onto Liverpool’s coat-tails, needing the Reds to drop numerous points while returning to peak form themselves.
It seems unlikely.
Burnley are among the goals in recent games with their last six seeing 20 goals and City are a side more than capable of joining in the fun when the mood takes them.
But Pep knows the joie d’vivre takes second place to winning and City are desperate to do just that. His opposite number knows to expect a very business-like Manchester City side at Turf Moor.
Burnley vs Manchester City Predictions
It was a chastening defeat for the Clarets on Saturday. Coming into the game off the back of consecutive 3 – 0 wins, they had high hopes of building a run as we head into the busy Christmas period.
Instead, Burnley were lacklustre and devoid of creativity. Dyche admitted afterwards they got what they deserved from the game.
Despite the setback against Palace, Burnley sit tenth in the table, six points clear of Southampton who occupy the last relegation spot.
The recent run of goal-fest games shouldn’t come as a much of a surprise. Burnley haven’t been involved in a goalless draw for almost 11 months and 18 of their subsequent 29 fixtures saw over 2.5 goals.
Recently, it’s been feast or famine, however. Only one side has scored in Burnley’s last four games (W2, L2) but five of the last six saw at least three goals (W2, L4).
City are just the sort of team you want to play when you have defensive uncertainty permeating your team. Comfortably the Premier League’s top scorers with 39 goals which is incidentally the same total as the entire bottom three has managed combined.
Not that City aren’t without their own vulnerabilities. It’s been seven games since they kept a clean sheet in any competition and four since they kept one on the road.
But up front, they are missing Sergio Aguero. City have one win in five (D3, L1) in all competitions, games in which the mercurial Argentinean would surely have made some difference. He featured in some of those matches but was patently unfit.
Despite drawing, last weekend represented a step forward for City. It was the first time in four Premier League matches they hadn’t fallen behind, a run which has seen them lead at the interval only once.
Since Aguero last scored – in the 2 – 1 win over Southampton – City found five goalscorers to net their six goals in four games. It’s relatively low-key for Pep Guardiola’s side although not entirely unusual.
Kevin de Bruyne is surprisingly turning out to be the main threat with two in his last two games.
Away from home, City have two Premier League wins in the last five (D1, L2) and only two clean sheets all season on their travels. When you’ve scored 18, that’s not too much of an issue.
It is extremely hard to see on paper that Burnley will take something from this game. Yet, the same could be said for Newcastle United and Norwich City. The struggling teams or the games City are expected to coast are the ones they are finding tougher this year.
With a packed Turf Moor on a bitterly cold night, will they find Burnley’s ardour for an upset too much to handle?
Burnley vs Manchester City Head to Head
City lead the head-to-head with 47 wins to Burnley’s 29. Twenty-five finished drawn. Disturbingly for tonight’s hosts, they haven’t scored against City in the last three (L3).
City won last season’s corresponding fixture 1 – 0 to complete the double over the Clarets and extend their unbeaten run in this fixture to eight games (W7, D1).
Burnley’s last victory over Manchester City came in 2015 which was their only success over their more illustrious neighbours in the last forty-five years.
The two sides met once before on 4th December. Back in 1909, their Division Two clash finished 4 – 0 in City’s favour at their old Hyde Road ground.
Burnley Team News
Sean Dyche’s injury list may be reducing significantly this week with two of Saturday’s walking wounded not as badly hurt as first feared. Erik Pieters and Charlie Taylor face late fitness tests to see if they have recovered in time for the visit of Manchester City.
Also hopeful of a return is Ashley Westwood but the Burnley gaffer is being cautious following the midfielder’s groin injury. He too faces a late fitness test.
Joey Gudmundsson is the only confirmed absentee, not expected to return for a fortnight.
Manchester City Team News
Oleksandr Zinchenko may make the cut for the trip to Turf Moor but is rated as only 50:50 at the moment.
Aymeric Laporte, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero are sidelined while Ilkay Gundogan is suspended.
Burnley vs Manchester City Betting Tips
City lead the way in the Novibet matchday odds as 11/50 favourites while home side Burnley are out at 12/1 with the draw at 23/4.
Given Burnley’s record, it’s no surprise to see the Match Total Goals of 4 – 6 at only 7/5. City, obligingly, have seen four goals in their last two away games. A note of caution. City’s last four visits to Turf Moor all saw three goals or less.
It will be no surprise if the run of one team only scoring in Burnley’s matches continues, however. A home clean sheet seems unlikely at 73/10 but the away clean sheet at 23/25 is a fairly safe bet.
While the usual suspects occupy the top slots in the Anytime Goalscorer stakes, 12/5 for Kevin de Bruyne and 31/20 for Bernardo Silva are worth looking at.
The Burnley strikers are longer shots which is hardly surprising but at 39/10 and 4/1 respectively, Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes are well worth looking at.