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Preview: Manchester City vs. Burnley - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Manchester City vs. Burnley - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Burnley, including team news and predicted lineups.

Manchester City will be looking to bounce back from their derby defeat to Manchester United when they welcome Burnley to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Pep Guardiola's side remain second in the Premier League table despite their problems this term, while Burnley currently occupy 10th position in the division following an impressive run.

Match preview

City would have earmarked Wednesday's expected game against Arsenal as the perfect chance to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat at Man United last weekend. However, the fixture with the Gunners was postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

As a result, Burnley could feel the full wrath of City's frustration on Saturday afternoon. Guardiola's team actually played quite well for long stages of the derby at Old Trafford but goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side claim the bragging rights.

City have incredibly now lost seven Premier League matches this season, six more than leaders Liverpool, who are 25 points clear at the summit, albeit having played a game more than the reigning champions.

The Citizens are now only four points clear of third-placed Leicester City but sit 12 clear of fifth-placed Man United. A top-four finish, as it stands, will not bring Champions League football to the club next season, though, due to their two-year UEFA suspension, which has been appealed.

It seems incredible to think that City have lost as many league matches this season as Sheffield United, while they have lost just one more than Man United. Even more surprisingly, Arsenal (6) have now lost fewer Premier League fixtures than Guardiola's side during the current campaign.

The club's Premier League season has been disappointing, but they won the EFL Cup at the start of the month and are still in both the FA Cup and Champions League.

City were due to welcome Real Madrid to the Etihad Stadium next Tuesday for the second leg of their last-16 Champions League clash, but the match has now been postponed due to the latest coronavirus situation, which has left the Spanish club's players in quarantine.

The English champions are then due to face Newcastle United in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on February 21, although it remains to be seen what happens with the calendar over the next few weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has caused havoc with the sporting calendar.

Burnley, meanwhile, will enter this weekend's match off the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Tottenham Hotspur last weekend. Chris Wood sent the Clarets ahead against Jose Mourinho's side, but a penalty from Dele Alli meant that the points were shared at Turf Moor.

Sean Dyche's side have now drawn their last two in the Premier League having also picked up a point at Newcastle United on February 29, but they are unbeaten in England's top flight since January 11.

Indeed, four wins and three draws have occurred in their last seven league matches to help them move up the table. As it stands, they are 10th in the division, just four points off sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers.

It would probably be fair to say that the Clarets are safe at this stage considering that they are 12 points clear of the relegation zone, which is currently occupied by Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City.

Burnley's recent record against City is absolutely rotten, though, losing eight of their last nine matches against Saturday's opponents in all competitions. They have actually conceded five goals in two of their last four Premier League games with the Citizens and lost 4-1 at Turf Moor earlier this season.

What's more, only once since October 1974 have Burnley overcome City - a 1-0 victory in the Premier League in March 2015, where George Boyd scored the only goal of the match.

The Clarets should arrive at the Etihad Stadium in a confident mood due to their recent form, although Dyche confirmed at his press conference on Thursday that some key players would be absent this weekend.

City have had their issues this season, but Guardiola's side will surely be determined to issue a response this weekend, making picking up a good result a potentially very difficult assignment for the visitors.

Man City Premier League form: DWLWWL
Man City form (all competitions): WWWWWL

Burnley Premier League form: WDWWDD
Burnley form (all competitions): LDWWDD

Team News

City are expected to have Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte fit for this weekend's match as both have returned to training having missed out at Old Trafford last weekend.

Sergio Aguero picked up a thigh issue against Solskjaer's side but is available; Guardiola could make changes in attack, though, with Gabriel Jesus potentially coming into the central position.

Riyad Mahrez could also earn a start at the expense of Bernando Silva, while Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and David Silva are also in line for recalls against Dyche's side.

Leroy Sane continues to make progress in his recovery from a knee operation, but the Germany international will not be involved on Saturday afternoon.

As for Burnley, Dyche confirmed during Thursday's press conference that Jay Rodriguez would be unavailable due to a twisted knee, while Matthew Lowton and Johann Berg Gudmundsson would again be absent.

Ashley Barnes is making good progress in his recovery from injury, but the forward will not be involved at the Etihad Stadium, meaning that Matej Vydra could earn a spot alongside Wood in attack.

The rest of the XI should remain unchanged from the draw with Tottenham, though, meaning that Aaron Lennon and Robbie Brady might have to accept spots on the bench once again.

Man City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Mendy; D Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Sterling, Jesus, Mahrez

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Pope; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Wood, Vydra

Head To Head

As mentioned, City have won eight of the last nine fixtures between the two teams, remaining unbeaten in the process, including a 4-1 victory in the reverse match at Turf Moor.

Burnley have only recorded one Premier League victory over the Citizens, while they have conceded four goals twice and five goals twice in their last six meetings in all competitions.

Overall, City lead the head-to-head record 48 victories to Burnley's 29.

We say: Manchester City 2-0 Burnley

City will be desperate to return to winning ways after what happened in the derby, and it is difficult to imagine Burnley picking up a result here; we fancy Guardiola's side to collect all three points in routine fashion.

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