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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Manchester City v Burnley

Tale of the tape as the Clarets go to face the Premier League champions

19 October 2018

Manchester City have picked up where they left off last season – at least where the Etihad Stadium is concerned.

The Premier League champions have been held to draws away at Wolves and Liverpool in their unbeaten start to the season – restricting their lead at the of the table to goal difference.

But four successive home wins, with 13 goals scored, have just given them the edge over Chelsea and Liverpool as the only top-flight side with a 100 per cent home record.

Last season, Pep Guardiola’s side lost just once at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League, racking up 61 goals along the way, as they reached a total of 100 points to secure a third league title in six years.

Burnley twice went to City, in the league and the FA Cup.

And while both times they ended up with three-goal defeats, Sean Dyche’s side led in the Cup and trailed only to a Sergio Aguero penalty going into the final quarter of the league encounter.

And while Dyche is under no illusion of the scale of the task facing his side at City on Saturday, the 12th-placed Clarets won’t go there to lie down after gaining some momentum themselves with a burst of two wins and a draw ahead of the international break.

The Burnley boss said: “They are a top side, with top individuals, a top manager and growing and maturing into a top club.

“They are establishing themselves with a more recent history, but a powerful history nonetheless. There’s a lot to be like and marvelled at.

“But, there is equally a lot to remind yourselves of what we’re about and we have to remember that.

“We’re going there to take the game on.

“We’ve had an indifferent start to the season, in some ways, in our form.

“But to come out of that with the points on the table in the last few games has been pleasing, because you need to find a way to get points.”

Team news

Steven Defour could face a reunion with former Belgium international and close friend Kevin De Bruyne.

The fit-again midfielder Defour is set to return to the Clarets’ squad after missing the last game through a family bereavement.

And De Bruyne could be back in the Manchester City squad for the first time since the opening weekend of the season after recovering from a knee injury.

Robbie Brady won’t yet be involved for the Clarets, while Irish international team-mate Stephen Ward is out following minor knee surgery.

England international Fabian Delph is back in contention after missing almost a month, but midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is again ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Form guide

The Clarets go into the game on the back of a three-match unbeaten run and won away from home for the first time this season at Cardiff on their last trip from Turf Moor.

Leaders Manchester City have won four out of four at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League.

They have dropped points at Liverpool – last time out thanks to a late missed penalty by Riyad Mahrez – and Wolves and lost at home to Lyon in the Champions League.

Pep Guardiola’s side face a trip to Ukraine on Monday for a Champions League tie at Shakhtar Donetsk the following night.

Opposition camp

Goalkeeper Joe Hart returns for the first time to Manchester City, where he played 348 games before being joining the Clarets this summer following spells on loan at Torino and West Ham.

"I think Joe is undoubtedly important to the club. Tomorrow we will see how appreciated he is by our fans," said City boss Pep Guardiola.

Match stats

This will be the 100th meeting between the two clubs.

The Clarets have beaten the reigning champions in each of their four previous Premier League campaigns – Manchester United, Manchester City, Leicester City and Chelsea.

The Clarets have drawn three and won one of their eight Premier League games against City.

Burnley have blocked 52 shots in the Premier League this season. No other side has stopped more than 40.

City’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero has scored six goals in six games against Burnley in all competitions.


Jonathan Moss is the man in the middle.


Saturday 3pm. Manchester City are unbeaten in 33 games in the Premier League when kicking off at that time. One more would set a record.

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