Manchester City will be hoping to continue their historical dominance over Burnley in the first ‘Monday Night Football’ since the league’s one-hundred-days-plus hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Pep Guardiola’s ‘Citizens’ will be the more match-ready after he oversaw his side’s dismantling of Arsenal by three-goals-to-nil in the Premier’s League’s re-opening on Wednesday.
Despite the title race being almost a foregone conclusion, with Liverpool twenty-two-points clear at the summit, Manchester City will be wanting to finish the season strong and further increase the gap between them and the rest of the chasing pack.
In the opposing dugout on Monday will be Sean Dyche, who leads a Burnley team that found their rhythm before football was called to a halt back in March. ‘The Clarets’ are five-games-unbeaten after wins over Southampton and Bournemouth, as well as sharing the spoils with Spurs in their last league outing.
It would be a surprise if Burnley claimed all three-points, with Manchester City winning 48% of their previous meetings, but a win nevertheless would further consolidate the Lancashire outfit’s mid-table standing and could possibly get the gears going for a late push for European football.
Burnley have been hit by a big injury crisis going into this fixture, with top-scorer Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and Johann Berg Gudmundsson likely to miss the club’s return to action. Whilst uncertainty continues to surround their out-of-contract players, with neither of Jeff Hendrick, Phil Bardsley, Aaron Lennon and Joe Hart having agreed to play beyond June 30, meaning they could refuse to travel to the Etihad and further deplete the squad.
Not the end of the world though, as Sean Dyche may possibly opt to give opportunities to talented youngsters such as Mace Goodridge, Jimmy Dunne and Lewis Richardson due to the lack of squad depth and the extended bench of nine players.
Manchester City will be rejuvenated that injury-ridden Aymeric Laporte completed 70 minutes of their victory over the ‘Gunners’ on Wednesday, as he continues his road back to full fitness, with fellow central defender John Stones in contention for a return.
Unsurprisingly, the talented Eric Garcia, who was stretchered off midweek after a collision with own goalkeeper Ederson, will remain on the side-lines as questions continue to rise over highly-rated attacker Leroy Sane’s inclusion after it was announced he is to leave Manchester after refusing a contract extension.
Pep Guardiola’s City looked back to their dominant selves on Wednesday, who should be able to make light work of a seriously depleted Burnley side who have only beat them once since 2015.
Match Preview written by Ethan Evans.