Preview: Burnley v Manchester City

Sergio Aguero Fernandinho Manchester City

Burnley will be targeting their first win since December when they host runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City on Saturday.

Premier League
Date: 3 February 2018
Match Day 26
Kick-off: 12H30 local time
Venue: Turf Moor
Referee: M. Atkinson
Assistants: P. Kirkup, L. Betts
Fourth official: J. Moss

Head-to-head summary: 

TEAM               MATCHES  WIN   DRAW   LOSS

Burnley                    80         26        19         35 
Manchester City      80         35        19         26      

Previous encounter: 

Manchester City 4-1 Burnley 06/01/18 (FA Cup)

Manchester City goalscorers: S. Aguero (56', 58'), L. Sane (71'), B. Silva (82')

Burnley goalscorers: A. Barnes (25')

Players to watch: 

The Clarets have struggled for goals recently and will be hoping the likes of Sam Vokes and Ashley Barnes find some form to give them a chance of causing an upset against a rampant City team.

Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling have been in great form for City this season. Aguero has bagged 24 goals in only 30 appearances, while Sterling has scored 19 goals and provided 10 assists. They also combined for the third goal against West Brom on Wednesday when Sterling set up Aguero's strike in the 89th minute.

Team form and manager quotes: 

After an excellent start to the season, which saw the Clarets establish themselves at seventh position in the standings, they have now hit a poor run of form that stretches back to December 12 when they last won a game.

Manager Sean Dyche's charges are still sitting in seventh place, but are winless in their last nine games across all competitions, which includes a 4-1 defeat to City in the FA Cup.

In their last three games, Burnley lost to Crystal Palace and Manchester United, before a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United on Wednesday.

In terms of transfers, Burnley were only able to bring in Aaron Lennon and Georges-Kevin N'Koudou in January but Dyche is aware his club can't compete with the spending of the top clubs. He said, according to the Burnley Express: “There was a couple of situations we thought might come our way, but the market is tough, we all know that. 

“We are what we are, everyone knows that, we have to run the club in an appropriate manner and that’s what we chose to do and that makes it difficult."

Meanwhile, City have managed to bounce back from the 4-3 defeat at Liverpool last month by winning four consecutive games in all competitions. The Sky Blues beat Newcastle, Bristol City, Cardiff City, and West Brom in the run-up to the Burnley tie. 

After Manchester United's defeat at Tottenham in midweek, the Citizens' lead at the top of the table has grown to 15 points, with 13 games left in the season. 

Despite dominating the league, City moved to add a few new faces to their side in January as they target multiple trophies this season. Most notably they've bolstered their defence with the signing of left-footed centre-back Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao.

Speaking after the 3-0 win over West Brom, Guardiola told the press: "We had an amazing game – the joy to watch them play, the joy they have to play in that way, but we missed a lot of chances.

"Against top teams, it will be a problem. Today was a game for 7-0, 8-0, 7-1 because there were clear chances for the last pass. Hopefully we can improve that in the future."

Team news: 

Burnley could welcome back defender James Tarkowski, but Steven Defour is set for two months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

City have doubts about David Silva's fitness after picking up a knock against West Brom, but Fernandinho is available after the FA opted not to take retrospective action against him for an alleged stamp on Grzegorz Krychowiak.