Hello and welcome
This time last year Manchester City at home against side not just in the bottom half of the table but flirting with the relegation zone tended to mean one thing: sit back, put your feet up and watch a flood of goals. City under Pep Guardiola against any side showing weakness, under pressure and in need of points have been much like like a hungry lion picking off a weak, injured gazelle – clinical and merciless.
This year, however, is different and not just for the obvious reasons of there being no crowds, some ridiculous results and a Jose Mourinho seemingly happy with life. No, this campaign is remarkable for the fact that City look goal shy. Seemingly out of nowhere Pep’s players have gone from blood-thirsty killers in front of goal to meek, lumbering also-rans.
This campaign has seen City not manage to score more than one goal in any of their past six Premier League matches, and their 12-point tally is their lowest after eight matches since the 2008-09 season. Their goal count of 11 is the fewest times they’ve found the back of the net in 14 years. They lie 13th in the table and come into the match on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham, looking a far cry from the side that could bend any match to their attacking will and virtually end a contest before half-time.
In need of a pick-me-up victory you could argue that Guardiola’s side, at home, are up against the perfect opponents. Burnley have spent most of the season in the bottom three, have only one win to their name and have earned just two points from four away matches.
But this being 2020, and there being a perennial need to take some sort of positive from a host of negatives then Clarets fans can grab some crumbs of comfort from the fact that the side can equal the club’s top-flight record of three successive away cleansheets today, a feat achieved most recently in 1955.
So, if the season’s stats are anything to go by we should expect a low-scoring match with City just edging it. That doesn’t inspire any neutrals wanting to see a goal-fest but Pep Guardiola’s side still oozes attacking flair and class and there is a feeling that the team will click sooner rather than later.
Stay here to find out if they do and for all the pre-match news and analysis.