Manchester City vs Burnley
A year ago, this preview would have started with predictions for a routine, easy Manchester City win. Whilst the current Premier League leaders are in scintillating form (undefeated and 29 goals scored in 8 games), Burnley have been very strong on their travels this season, with points picked up away at Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool.
Despite this, it is hard to see anything other than a City win. In their last two games they have thrashed Stoke 7-2 and ground out a 2-1 win against Napoli in the Champions League. Sean Dyche may take some solace in the fact that for stretches of the Napoli match City looked laboured – perhaps some fatigue is setting in after their blistering start to the season?
Saying this, if fatigue is setting in, then Guardiola merely has to look to the bench to find the likes of Ilkay Gundogan and Yaya Toure waiting for their turn to shine. Couple this with the potential return of Sergio Aguero and City look almost unstoppable.
Kevin De Bruyne can barely put a pass wrong, Raheem Sterling is in the form of his life and David Silva is, as he has been for so long now, is playing with the ball glued to his feet.
Burnley played a training game against Sheffield United this week to allow some of the squad players to get some game time under their belt. Most exciting for Burnley fans will be that Nahki Wells, signed from Huddersfield at the start of the season completed the full 90 minutes as he returns from injury.
Wells, who scored 48 goals in his time at Huddersfield could be vital to Burnley’s effort to finish in the top half this season- what surely must be the aim after their impressive start to the season.
Stand in Burnley keeper Nick Pope has the best save percentage of any Premier League keeper this season (91.7%) and has only conceded 2 goals in his 414 minutes played.Embed from Getty Images
So, even though it looks like City will win this game it might not be to the same gargantuan scorelines as their previous matches.
Sean Dyche will set his team up in their usual compact defensive shape and try to hit City on the break. Equally, 0-0 will be a very credible result for Burnley so they may approach the game with that mentality and just try to keep the opposition at bay for 90 minutes.
Prediction: Manchester City 3 Burnley 0
Written by Dom Clarke.