Manchester City will be aiming to get back to winning ways in midweek as they tackle Burnley in the Fourth Round of the Carabao Cup.
Heading to Turf Moor, Pep Guardiola’s men will be reeling from their shock defeat to Leicester City but have a great chance to reach the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, the Clarets have not reached this stage of the League Cup in some time so a win against the Citizens could help them finally get their season up and running after a tricky start.
It’s certainly not been the start to the 2020/21 that Sean Dyche and Burnley would have envisaged, with an injury-hit Clarets side losing their opening two Premier League matches to Leicester City and Southampton. The Carabao Cup has been a welcome distraction so far though having reached the fourth round of the competition for the first time in seven years. They at first progressed past fellow Premier League side Sheffield United on penalties before just getting beyond Millwall 2-0 in the previous round. As a result, Burnley now have a great chance to progress to the quarter-finals of the League Cup for the first time since they reached the semi-finals in the 2008/09 campaign. Their home record will not give them all that much inspiration though. Since the turn of the year, the Lancashire side have only won four matches within 90 minutes in all competitions on home soil, whilst they have not beaten a ‘big six’ side at Turf Moor since a 2-1 success against Tottenham Hotspur back in February 2019.
A lot of the headlines pre-match revolve around defender James Tarkowski. The centre-back has been out with an apparent toe injury, whilst there are also questions about his future with Leicester City and West Ham United thought to be interested in his signature. Fellow defender Ben Mee is also out for the match against the Citizens so it is likely that Kevin Long and Jimmy Dunne will continue in the heart of defence. The injury list does not stop there though. Long-term absentees Ashley Barnes, Jack Cork and Johan Berg Gudmunsson all remain missing, whilst Robbie Brady and Jay Rodriguez are both also restricted to the sidelines.
It is fair to say that Pep Guardiola and his men will be extremely keen to rectify their shocking defeat at the weekend. Having taken the lead against Leicester City, the Sky Blues conceded five at home in the league for the first since 2003. They also lost a game having been ahead for the first time since a 3-2 reverse against Wolverhampton Wanderers in December last year. City’s recent form in the League Cup should give them considerable confidence though. Manchester City have lifted the League Cup in five out of the last seven seasons including the last three. As a matter of fact, they have not lost in their last nine away matches in the League Cup, a run that stretches back to October 2016. Since arriving at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola has only ever been defeated in two League Cup ties and ironically they were both losses to near neighbours Manchester United.
Just like Burnley, City have been hit hard by injuries in the early portion of the campaign. Strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are out for some time, leaving Liam Delap as the only option up top for City. Meanwhile, Bernardo Silva is out with a quad strain and Ilkay Gundogan is still in self isolation having tested positive for covid-19. Defenders Joao Cancelo and John Stones both remain out of contention.
Key Facts To Consider
- Manchester City have a better head-to-head record between the two sides (W49, D25, L30)
- The sides have met twice in the past in the League Cup, City winning both games and not conceding a goal
- City have won the last five matches in a row against Burnley, scoring 20 goals in the process
- Burnley have only won one out of the last 24 matches against Manchester City in all competitions
- In all of his appearances against Burnley, Sergio Aguero has had a hand in over a third of his team’s goals
Should they not be suffering with their own injury problems, Burnley might well have been more confident in taking advantage of City’s current woes. However, give the current situation at Turf Moor, it seems highly unlikely that they will be able to progress. It should be a straight-forward evening for Pep Guardiola’s troops.
Prediction: Man City to Win To Nil