Manchester City will aim to make an immediate return to winning ways in the Premier League when they take on Burnley at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The reigning champions played out a pulsating 2-2 draw with Liverpool last time out, while Sean Dyche’s side could only take a point from their clash with Norwich City.
Liverpool vs. Man City is very rarely a boring watch for the neutrals, and one man in particular stole the show for the Merseyside giants, but Pep Guardiola’s side would fight back twice to rescue a point before the international break.
After Phil Foden had initially cancelled out Sadio Mane’s opener, Mohamed Salah evaded a number of challenges from those in blue before crashing a shot home past Ederson, but City’s own talisman Kevin De Bruyne would reply within five minutes to ensure a share of the spoils.
Another two points dropped in the Premier League is hardly the end of the world for the champions, and they now occupy third spot in the table – one point behind Liverpool and two behind leaders Chelsea – but must also factor in next week’s Champions League trip to Club Brugge this weekend.
A 2-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in their most recent European battle means that City head into Saturday’s game aiming to avoid a third game without a win in all competitions, but they remain unbeaten at home this season and have kept four Premier League clean sheets in succession at the Etihad, the most recent of which came in a goalless draw with Southampton.
Only leaders Chelsea have also conceded a league-low three goals so far this season, and not since 2010 have City failed to score in successive home matches in the Premier League – a streak which is highly unlikely to end anytime soon.
Liverpool-Man City may have been a tremendous watch for the neutrals, while Burnley-Norwich was anything but, as neither side could find a way through in a 0-0 draw which extended their winless runs in the top flight.
That result did represent Norwich’s first point of the new season, but Burnley will be aware that they have passed up a golden opportunity to put their first win on the board as they struggle to break away from the other relegation candidates.
A point against the Canaries has seen Dyche’s side remain in the bottom three with only three points taken from a possible 21 this term, but a previous draw with Leicester City and EFL Cup win over Rochdale at least means that they are unbeaten in three in all tournaments ahead of this clash.
However, three of the Clarets’ last four away games in the top flight have ended in defeat, while their winless run in the Premier League stretches back to a 2-0 win over Fulham in May, and they have posted seven losses and three draws in the league since then.
Furthermore, Burnley travel to the Etihad having lost their last eight in a row against Man City in all competitions – scoring only once in that miserable streak – and each of the last four fixtures at the Etihad between the two clubs has ended 5-0 to the hosts.
Manchester City Premier League form:
Manchester City form (all competitions):
Burnley Premier League form:
Burnley form (all competitions):
We say: Manchester City 3-0 Burnley
Burnley may have developed a new-found sense of resilience following two successive draws in the top flight, but their four most recent trips to the Etihad have all ended in disaster against a five-star City.
It is difficult to see Guardiola’s side repeating the same trick again given how the international break will take its toll, but this ought to be another routine success and clean sheet for the champions either way.