Sergio Aguero set to make return for the Blues, Sean Dyche hails opponents as ‘Barcelona-like’. “We have to adapt” says Pep Guardiola.
- Manchester City v Burnley
- Premier League
- Etihad Stadium
- Saturday 21st October
- Kick off: 15:00 BST
It’s times like the present where you can sit back and enjoy the football put on display by Manchester City – right now, they are the best team on current form in Europe.
And now the edition of Sergio Aguero revived from injury would seem difficult to imagine the standard of play dropping, but with the surprise package of Sean Dyche’s Burnley on Saturday – could come trouble.
With just one defeat all season and an unbeaten away record, the somewhat pragmatic and team-spirited approach has put the Clarets up to seventh in the Premier League table, above the likes of Liverpool and Everton – so they are no mugs.
When we all glanced at that half-time score line, Chelsea 0-3 Burnley on the first day, it was an eye opener, but they saw the game out and managed a 2-3 win. Yes, great victory, but it didn’t stop there. Two draws against Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool away from home and a 1-0 win at Everton tell us the boat is steady and an early blueprint for top-flight status is evident.
The other side of the coin is that City haven’t lost at all this season, winning seven from eight league games and drawing one.
The man in-charge at Turf Moor showed his humour by concluding that “it’s a disgrace,” and that “it shouldn’t be allowed,” when City made close to 900 passes against Stoke City. Dyche also said the Blues are reminiscent of Barcelona and assessed the plan for his own side.
“I remember watching Barcelona a lot when I was a youth coach and Man City look like that,” he said.“They’re arguably one of the best collection of individual footballers in Europe.”
(On Burnley) “We will formulate a plan we think can affect the game, and we’ve done that very well so far this season.”
Pep Guardiola confirmed Aguero is ready for action on Saturday and also told his preparations to face the Clarets.
“The way we played against Napoli is totally different to Burnley. We have to adapt,” he said. “The next game is always the most important. If you want to be a big club, all the opponents need to know we are going to be there.”
You would have to go all the way back to 1963 when City were last defeated at home by Burnley, but the visiting side have had a positive time of recent when they were unbeaten against the Etihad outfit in the 2014-15 season, including a 1-0 win at Turf Moor.
MAN CITY: Nothing new on the injury front for the Blues. Vincent Kompany is still tampered with an ongoing calf injury. Benjamin Mendy still out until April.
BURNLEY: No fresh incidents other than goalkeeper Tom Heaton, who is still out with a shoulder injury, as is Jonathan Walters with knee problems.
MAN CITY: Kevin De Bruyne – the Belgian has been in stellar form so far this campaign. He now has the best assist-per-match record in Premier League history, averaging an assist every 181.4 minutes. No wonder the talk of the town is that he is the world’s best midfielder at the moment. The City frontline has sparked fear into every side they’ve faced, a +25 goal difference proves that. Everyone at the moment is a one-to-watch.
BURNLEY: Chris Wood – The New Zealand international has bagged four goals in eight games including the equaliser against Spurs at Wembley. He has given the Clarets something different since joining for a club-record fee from Leeds in the summer. He will certainly be a handful for City’s defence, who have only conceded four in the league all season.
Kick off is Saturday, October 21st, 3PM at the Etihad Stadium.