Manchester City will go head to head against Burnley at the Turf Moor on Saturday, in the Premier League. Guardiola’s side, currently in third position in the league, are just one point adrift of leaders Chelsea and with the Blues facing a tough fixture Tottenham, a positive result against 12th placed Burnley could bode well for the Citizens.
Having defeated Crystal Palace last weekend, thanks to a double from a returning Yaya Toure, City failed to register a win in the midweek fixture against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League. So, they will be hoping to bounce back against Burnley, who have had a good record against the big teams this season having beaten Liverpool and drawn against Manchester United.
After playing with what he called a ‘fluid’ system in the midweek, where City started with a three-men defence but kept changing their shape on the pitch, Guardiola will look to return to a solid 4-1-4-1 which has worked for him this season.
Fabian Delph and Vincent Kompany remain the only injury concerns for City as we look at the predicted XI for Saturday’s clash:
GK – Claudio Bravo
Bravo had an average game against Gladbach and wasn’t at fault for the goal City conceded. However, he did look a little shaky at times and Burnley might look to test the Chilean with crosses in the box.
RB – Bacary Sagna
Was excluded in the midweek game as Guardiola started with three men at the back, but the Frenchman came on in the second half and put in a good display. Expect him to return the starting XI.
CB – John Stones
The summer signing had a poor start to the game against Gladbach and was at fault for the only goal City conceded. Will look to put in a better performance coming up against the likes of Andre Gray and Sam Vokes.
CB – Nicolas Otamendi
The 28-year old Argentine will partner Stones at the centre of the defence with Kompany unavailable. Otamendi had a decent outing at the Borussia Park and will look to keep the Burnley attackers at bay on Saturday.
LB – Aleksandar Kolarov
The 31-year old fared well in the CL game playing on the left of the 3-man defence. He will return to his natural left-back role on Saturday and can be one of City’s main attacking outlet with his marauding runs on the left flank.
DM – Fernandinho
The Brazilian had a game to forget on Wednesday against the German team, with the night ending early for him after 2 yellow cards. Has the manager’s trust though and will look to bounce back at the Turf Moor.
RW – Raheem Sterling
The English forward struggled as a wing-back on Wednesday but showed signs of improvement after Guardiola shifted him to his favoured right-flank. Expect him to start ahead of Jesus Navas on the right side.
CM – Yaya Toure
It was a night to remember for Yaya Toure last week at Selhurst Park, after he made a comeback to the City line-up in style with two goals, reminding Guardiola of what he was missing. The Ivory Coast midfielder is a sure starter against Burnley having played no part in the midweek fixture.
CM – David Silva
Was City’s saviour in Germany as he came up with the equaliser. The Spaniard is yet to open his account in the Premier League but does have 2 assists to his name. Links up beautifully with the likes of De Bruyne and Aguero.
LW – Kevin De Bruyne
Stand out player on Wednesday, grabbing an assist and impressing with his set piece delivery. Will start on the left but will appear everywhere across the pitch and will be Burnley’s chief tormentor.
ST – Sergio Aguero
Had an off day against Borussia Monchengladbach but will pose a threat to Burnley’s defence. He will be up against Michael Keane who has been one of the best defenders in the league so far. An interesting battle on our hands.