Manchester City vs Burnley Preview: Citizens look to maintain unstoppable form

Burnley have the unenviable task of attempting to halt Manchester City's unbeaten start to the Premier League season this weekend

Manchester City vs Burnley Preview: Citizens look to maintain unstoppable form
Kevin de Bruyne is in the form of his Manchester City career | Photo: MCFC via Getty Images

Burnley will be hoping to take advantage of any continental hangover from Manchester City's midweek victory over Napoli if they are to take anything from their trip to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Unbeaten in all competitions so far, the hosts are in astonishing goalscoring form - their total of 29 in eight games is the best since Everton hit 30 in the 1894-95 season.

The Clarets are unbeaten in their last six league games, though, and will fancy their chances of spoiling the party after stunning Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on the opening day of the season, as well as taking points off Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool away from home.

Team news

With Gabriel Jesus having started two games in the last week and Sergio Agüero back from injury, the Argentine could be in line to make his first start since September's 5-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Agüero has five league goals in his last three games and one more would see him draw level with Eric Brook at the top of the club's all time goalscoring charts, but he will not be accompanied on the pitch by club captain Vincent Kompany, who is still out with a calf problem.

Sean Dyche has the same group of players to pick from as in last week's 1-1 draw against West Ham, but Nakhi WellsJon Walters, and Dean Marney are all still out of contention.

 

 

Pep praises irrepressible Mendy

Pep Guardiola took the opportunity in his pre-match press conference to praise the conduct of the injured Benjamin Mendy, who is unlikely to feature again until well into the new year.

Despite this setback, the Frenchman has taken social media by storm with his infectious personality, and Guardiola said that his constant positivity can be a huge asset for the squad.

“Usually, players who are out for a long time with injury are sad,” he said. “They sometimes train apart and feel isolated. Mendy decided to be present!

“He is communicating on social media, WhatsApp and he calls his teammates and messages me. He is going to be so important outside the pitch because people like him make the atmosphere much better.”

Dyche promises Burnley will fight

Guardiola's opposite number, meanwhile, is confident that his team aren't travelling to Manchester just to make up the numbers.

“Our job is to alter the form book," noted Dyche. "That can only come from being aware of them but focusing on ourselves, going there to deliver what we can deliver and not waiting for them to deliver.

“That’s a key thing about the mindset of the group, can we go there and bring our game into theirs and affect them and disrupt them and make it awkward and make it feel different for them?

“That’s a big part of what we do against these super-power clubs and mostly we’ve done that quite well. Let’s see how we go on Saturday.”

 

 

Recent encounters

If previous matches between the two sides are anything to go by, Burnley could be in for a long afternoon - they have won just once against Manchester City in 16 attempts, in a run stretching back to 1975.

A goal on the hour mark from George Boyd brought that solitary victory back in 2015 but City have scored 24 goals in eight matches against the Clarets this century, and are unlikely to slow down this weekend.

With a Carabao Cup fixture against Wolves in which to test out fringe players this Tuesday, the home side are perhaps unlikely to change too much from the 7-2 drubbing of Stoke City last weekend - if they continue where they left off, don't bet against more goalscoring records being broken in the weeks to come.