Manchester City vs Burnley Preview: Can the Clarets halt the City juggernaut?
City won 5-0 the last time these two sides met (photo: Getty Images)

Manchester City vs Burnley Preview: Can the Clarets halt the City juggernaut?

Pep Guardiola's side are hunting a quadruple and will look to progress in the FA Cup.

chris-lincoln
Chris Lincoln

It is the draw none of the Premier League teams wanted...Manchester City away. And when Pep Guardiola's side battered Burton Albion 9-0 in the League Cup just two days later, Burnley must have been starting to dread this particular fixture even more.

Goals, goals, goals

The Clarets' recent history against City will not fill them with any further confidence. The clubs met four times during 2017 and 2018 at the Etihad Stadium, with City winning all four and netting 14 goals in the process.

You have to go all the way back to 1963 since Burnley defeated their opponents in Manchester, although the Clarets did run out victorious in 2015 at Turf Moor after a shock 1-0 victory in the Premier League. They also managed to steal a draw last February.

The visitors come into this match unbeaten in five, winning four of those, including their last round victory over Barnsley. Yet City have won all of their previous five matches since a crucial victory over Liverpool at the turn of the year, scoring 23 goals and not conceding in the process.

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Home side unlikely to hold back

Still competing on four fronts, Burnley will be hoping that Guardiola opts to rest several key players. Yet he did not appear to let up against Burton, selecting the likes of Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne for the second leg even with that nine-goal advantage.

City like to score goals against Burnley, netting at least two in all of their previous seven meetings at the Etihad. And they have no injury problems in attack with only Vincent Kompany and Claudio Bravo set to be sidelined.

Sean Dyche could welcome back Johann Berg Gudmundsson whilst Robbie Brady is available after suspension. However, full-backs Matt Lowton and Phil Bardsley are doubts which could cause a selection headache at right-back.

Burnley must be brave

Although 4-4-2 has been working well for Burnley lately, they are likely to switch to a 4-5-1 formation to try and squeeze the space in midfield. Jeff Hendrick and Ashley Westwood have found some form in recent weeks and they could join Jack Cork to make a central midfield three.

However, the visitors will have to be wary not to leave the lone striker, possibly Chris Wood, stranded as they chase City's possession. It is almost impossible to sit deep and soak up the pressure for an entire 90 minutes against this City side.

Burnley must be brave at the opportune moments and look to hold the ball for as long as possible. Their best outlet could come from set-pieces, particularly with the impending return of their dead ball specialists, and they must make any chances count which will be minimal against such a talented home side.

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