Man City have little time to dwell on their shocking 5-2 defeat at home to Leicester, the first time Pep Guardiola has ever conceded five goals as a manager in 686 games, though he’ll likely ring the changes given a combination of injuries and sloppy performances.
Gabriel Jesus is the latest to be added to the treatment table, joining the already unavailable Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo and Ilkay Gundogan.
Without a fit recognized senior striker, Raheem Sterling played centrally against the Foxes, but he’s more effective cutting inside, so we’d expect Guardiola to switch things up and either hand 17-year-old Liam Delap consecutive League Cup starts or alternatively deploy Phil Foden as a false nine.
A deal has at least been agreed for right-footed centre-back Ruben Dias from Benfica, with Nicolas Otamendi going the other way, though there’s no chance of the Portuguese international featuring in this clash.
Although the high press wasn’t functioning at its peak against Leicester, something the whole team must take blame for, defence remains the biggest of City’s problems and Leicester’s five-goal haul was helped by some clumsy challenges inside the box.
Guardiola’s side have consistently struggled against teams that sit deep, defend, then exploit them on the counter. Burnley will certainly do the first two of those, but their strikers aren’t as quick as those who have caused City damage in recent times.
Speedsters like Jamie Vardy, Lyon’s Moussa Dembele, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore have caused them havoc before, but Burnley’s main line of attack will surely come via set pieces.
Man City -1 Handicap
The Clarets have only managed a single strike against Man City in five meetings across all competitions over the past two seasons, losing these games by an aggregate 20-1 score, as City won all but one of these by a minimum three-goal margin.
However, it’s worth noting that Guardiola’s outfit were better at the Etihad, where they won all three encounters 5-0.
We’d certainly expect City’s attack to bounce back, especially considering Sean Dyche has absentees of his own in defence. Captain Ben Mee remains sidelined, while centre-back partner James Tarkowski is a major doubt and the interest of intense transfer speculation.
Further, Burnley only have one clean sheet from four appearances in all competitions now this season – coming against Championship outfit Millwall.
They also suffered at the hands of Leicester in a 4-2 defeat in their Premier League opener, while last time out they were even unable to register on the scoresheet hosting Southampton.
Man City may be prone to the odd defeat on the road, but when considering five of their last six defeats away from home have come against Chelsea, Man Utd, Spurs, Wolves and Liverpool, we wouldn’t expect Burnley to enjoy as much success.
Excluding the teams that finished above the Clarets last term, City have won nine of 12 road trips since the start of last season by at least two clear goals. The last six such matches yielded 22 goals to their opponents’ four, while they led at both half time and full time in five of those games.