Manchester City are beginning to have the sort of injury problems that would usually be a worry for Premier League leaders. David Silva joined Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus in the medical room in midweek, but Pep Guardiola’s side extended their lead to 15 points. The title is within touching distance.
Burnley are winless in their last eight Premier League matches. Four draws, four losses, see the Clarets, somehow, retain their seventh spot, such is the strange breakup of the Premier League this term.
Sean Dyche’s side can put their decline down to a combination of injuries, suspension, and a return to normality. Their first half of the season – as impressive as it was – was always largely unsustainable. Burnley may yet find themselves in the bottom-half of the Premier League.
Their slightly fortuitous win away at Newcastle in midweek was symbolic of Burnley’s season. The performance was trademark Dyche; effective, industrious, and taking full advantage of fortune.
Burnley are still the league’s least creative attack with comfortably the lowest expected goals. It’s fair to say their work is cut out against a Manchester City side that average a frankly ludicrous 66% possession (we can expect that to be much higher at Turf Moor on Saturday lunchtime). Burnley to fail to score is at 4/5.
Even with their star absentees, Manchester City’s team is a bit good. If it’s Brahim Diaz filling in or Kevin de Bruyne taking charge as he did against West Bromwich Albion in midweek, City still boast a terrifying attacking line-up. It is led by a certain Sergio Aguero, who is making a case for being the lead challenger to Harry Kane for the golden boot. Aguero to score first at 5/2 to well worth a punt.
They are the best team we have seen in the Premier League era, and we are yet to see the full depth of their squad. Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva have hardly been required by Guardiola thus far.
Bernardo may well get the start this weekend and is 21/10 to score anytime - I like the look of that price. The former AS Monaco man could benefit from the attention that Burnley will pay to some of City’s other forwards.
It goes without saying how this match will go. We all know the drill by now. City will have all the ball, and at some point the breakthrough will come. They are not a team you can frustrate with a low block, there’s an intrinsic belief under Guardiola that if you just keep playing, your chances will come. And it works.
The title ‘race’ was never a thing this season, and it has not even looked like being a thing. That’s because City are so damn good at everything. It’s hard not to be in awe of Guardiola’s team at the moment. I fear for each team they face, but the upside is that there are zero expectations upon sides like Burnley.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that will be enough to spur a shock at Turf Moor. The 7/1 on offer for a 3-0 away win carries most appeal...
TIP: Manchester City to win 3-0 @ 7/1
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*