Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Prediction: Manchester City vs Burnley

Verdict: Sergio Aguero to score 2+ goals

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

Looking to put their Anfield heartache behind them after returning from the international break, Pep Guardiola’s defending champions will welcome Burnley to the Etihad on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester City

Starting with Guardiola’s Manchester City side, after Riyad Mahrez’s last-gasp penalty miss saw them have to settle for a point at Anfield, the Sky Blues find themselves level on points with both Liverpool and Chelsea. Still tipped by many to defend their crown this year, last years record breaking champions have carried on their fine form in the final third. Scoring 21 goals in their opening eight games, no team in the division holds a better-attacking record.  One man to watch on Saturday will be City’s all-time leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero. Not featuring for Argentina over the international, along with grabbing five Premier League goals at the start of the season, the 30-year-old also holds a stellar record against Burnley. Now registering six in his last six against the Clarets, City’s main man should fancy his chances of carrying on his impressive record.

Team News

Kevin de Bruyne is in line to make just his second appearance of the season after recovering from a knee ligament injury.

Fabian Delph is unlikely to return however with Ilkay Gundogan another midfield doubt after missing the goalless draw with Liverpool.

Burnley

As for Saturday’s visitors, since struggling to adjust to the demands of Europa League football and falling out of Europe earlier in the season, it has been a tough year for Sean Dyche’s men. Struggling with their inconsistency, after putting four past Bournemouth in what looked like a turnaround moment for Burnley, the Clarets then crashed out of the EFL Cup at the hands of lower league Burton. While on paper Burnley picking up seven points out of a possible nine in their last three outings seems like a good turnaround, the Clarets performances have still been some way off of last season. Picking up a lackluster 1-1 draw with relegation faviroutes Huddersfield prior to the international break, Dyche’s side were also incredibly lucky to have left Cardiff with three points last month. If the visitors are to pull off a famous victory at the Etihad, they will also be needing to improve on their recent defensive record. Burnley are yet to record a clean sheet away from home since their 0-0 draw with Southampton on the opening weekend.

Team News

James Tarkowski was forced to withdraw from the England squad due to a groin injury with the Burnley defender to be assessed over the coming days.

Robbie Brady is closing in on his return from a long-term knee injury but Saturday is likely to come too soon for the Republic of Ireland international.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Sergio Aguero has now recorded six goals in his last six matches against Burnley.
  • Manchester City have now kept a clean sheet in five of their last six matches in all competitions.
  • Burnley have now failed to record a Premier League clean sheet since the middle of August.
  • In their last five matches against the Clarets, Manchester City have scored 12 goals.
  • City have lost just one Premier League game at home since March 2016.

Conclusion

After missing the chance to gain an advantage over Liverpool before the international break, Pep Guardiola should see this as a perfect opportunity to bounce back. Given Burnley’s struggles of late, coupled with Aguero’s stellar record against the visitors, we’re backing the Argentinian international to enjoy another afternoon in front of goal.

Verdict: Sergio Aguero to score 2+ goals

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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