FootballManchester City

City fully fit for match against Burnley

Guardiola with full squad to choose from

Manchester City returns to Premier League action on Saturday when they host Burnley.

Quick Turnaround

 The Blues are coming off a 1-0 victory over Olympiakos on Wednesday and it’s likely Pep Guardiola won’t like the fact it’s a matinee affair (3 pm).

Guardiola along with Jurgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have been very vocal about the early weekend kickoffs for teams that play in Europe.

All three played in the Champions League in mid-week with City having to travel to Greece.

Injury Update

With a fully fit side for the first time all season, Guardiola hopes no one takes a knock on Saturday.

Nathan Ake returned to training this week from a thigh injury while Sergio Aguero is gradually being reintroduced after suffering a hamstring injury.

Expect to see Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker back in the lineup, both got a rest in the club’s mid-week game.

The Clarets manager Sean Dyche has a few decisions to make on the injury front heading into Saturday’s game.

Goalkeeper Nick Pope isn’t fit which means Bailey Peacock-Farrell makes his first appearance in the Premier League.

The Clarets will also be without Jack Cork with an ankle injury.

Robbie Brady and Dale Stephens are doubtful with hamstring problems.

Breaking down a wall

 On paper, this matchup looks like the exact one City needs to regain its confidence in front of goal.

But don’t be fooled by the standings which show Burnley just a point clear of relegation in 17th place.

Burnley in fact is a very well-structured team at the back and a tough defense to break down.

Nick Pope has three clean sheets this season in the Premier League.

Defender James Tarkowski leads the league in clearances and headed clearances so far and is second in the league in blocks.

If you combine all the defensive statistics Burnley has the second-best defense in the entire league.

They’ve conceded one or fewer goals in three of their last four matches.

That could present a problem to a City squad struggling to score in league play.

They’ve got just 10 goals so far in eight matches.

Notable Stats

 History shows us that City have dominated Burnley when the two sides meet lately.

The Blues have won the last six meetings with the Clarets by a score of 23-1.

At home, City has beaten them by a combined score of 24-2 in their last six encounters.

Burnley has won just one of their 12 meetings with City in the Premier League with the last one coming in March 2015 1-0.

Guardiola may not like the early start time but his team has done well with 3 pm kickoffs.

In fact, City’s won 19 of its last 21 Premier League games that start at that time on Saturday.

Sergio Aguero seems to have Burnley’s number with nine goals in his last nine appearances against them in all competitions.

Riyad Mahrez also relished playing against the Clarets with four goals in his last three Premier League appearances against them.

Past History

 The team’s met once this season already in the Round of 16 of the Carabao Cup.

A pair of goals from Raheem Sterling helped the Blues to a 3-0 victory.

That puts City’s all-time record against them to 50 wins and 30 defeats.

Premier League form

 City is coming off a dismal 2-0 defeat at Tottenham in their last Premier League match, dropping them to 13th place with 12 points.

Burnley is desperate for points in 17th place out of 20.

The Clarets are coming off a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace last week.

They’re unbeaten in their last two EPL fixtures.

Game Info

 Saturday’s match gets underway at 3 pm from Etihad stadium. (JSL)

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