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Manchester City v Burnley - 3pm Sat 21st Oct - Premier League Match Preview and MDT
19 October 2017 07:29 Post ID: #608760
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Preview

After professionally negotiating a difficult midweek encounter against the best that Serie A currently has to offer, the next visitors to rock up at the Etihad stadium this weekend are Sean Dyche’s Burnley.

Make no mistake this is a fixture not to be taken lightly and consideration of resting too many of the currently excellently performing first picks for the City team ought to be far from Pep’s thoughts. If he has leant anything from his inaugural season in the Premier League or from studying Burnley’s performances this time round it is that there are no ‘Gimme’s’ in the Premier League. Never underestimate the opposition.

Currently lying in 8th place in the league, Burnley have so far inflicted an opening day defeat the 2016/17 champions and have drawn against both Spurs and Liverpool away from home. Indeed they have yet to suffer a defeat on the road and have shown that they can prove difficult opponents and are undefeated in the league since mid August. In fact their only defeat in that period was in the EFL Cup to Leeds United and then it was on penalties.

Wholesale changes can be left for the League Cup in next week. Let’s keep the momentum going.

With the pundits and Stoke City players still reeling from the events at the Etihad last weekend where Pep’s men simply blew their opponents away, most City fans will have spent the past few days going about their daily affairs with a spring in their step. The football that we have been witnessing has been nothing short of breathtaking and Pep could rightly be feeling somewhat vindicated at sticking to his footballing principles especially in the face of the constant reminders of his failure to win a trophy in his first season as a coach at a new club.


The work he has been putting in on the training ground and throughout his contact with the players has left a distinct hallmark of quality & belief - individual & collective - on the whole squad. He has created a situation where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts with the players buying into the system that when a goal is scored EVERYONE gets to feel they have played their part. This has paid dividends in the goal tally City have been racking up but remains a work in progress with signs that at times some are still willing to ignore the better placed team mate and try for goal themselves - something we witnessed even against Napoli in midweek. I am sure that this will not have been missed by our coach.

Results against Burnley in recent seasons have been tight. City have won last season’s two encounters by a single goal margin and prior to that suffered a 1-0 reverse away from home and a 2-2 draw under Pellegrini in his last year in charge. Dyche know how to organise his team and will make sure that they arrive well drilled and trying to close the spaces that have been so magnificently exploited by the incredible Kevin De Bruyne. The key to this game - once again - will be starting at a high tempo and getting that all important early goal to affect the game plan of the opposition and prevent them sitting too deep. Succeed in that aim and we could once again see the boys in Sky Blue continuing their superb record of scoring at least 4 goals in their last 3 matches.

The City players have all been outstanding this season and there is not time to list each and every one of them but at this point in the season I will mention two who deserve (IMO) massive credit but whose improvement has been somewhat overlooked - John Stones and Raheem Sterling. Both of these young men arrived at City with huge transfer tags around their necks (not their fault), with the approbation of all and sundry about whether they were ‘worth the money’ and then having to deal with the trashing of either their ability and/or their personal life. Both have shown immense professionalism in how they have responded to the situation they faced - they have knuckled down, gotten on with their jobs and listened to their coach who has helped them to restore their self-belief. Through this encouragement they are now showing why they were rated so highly before their transfer to Manchester City seemed to generate automatic question marks and an almost unrelenting stream of criticism. I for one am hugely pleased to see them stuff the words of the pundits, doubters and nay-sayers right back down their throats.

Another test awaits Pep and his men and there is no tome to relax or take the foot off the gas. City have been delivering a footballing masterclass in recent weeks and, having set the bar high, need to concentrate, not take the Clarets lightly and deliver yet another masterclass on Saturday.

Oh by the way - its another 3pm kick off this Saturday.

I bet the people who decided to put City’s league outings on tv only twice during October and November are currently explaining to the Executives at Sky and BT Sport who are asking why they are giving the rags, Liverpool and West Ham United five outings each during the same period rather than the team providing some of the most exciting football seen in the Premier League’s history.

If they want entertainment and goals their cameras are very likely to be in the wrong places based on what we have seen so far this season.

Come on City!!!

*Stats courtesy of Transfermarkt.com

Opponent to watch

Chris Wood - the forward from New Zealand cost Burnley something in the region of £15m and has netted 3 times in 6 appearances. He scored the equaliser in added time to secure Burnley a point against Spurs. He will need watching.

Match Officials

Referee: Roger East
Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Sian Massey-Ellis
Fourth official: Bobby Madley

Stats** (Premier League) comparison:-

City

Goals per game - 3.6
Avg Possesion - 64.9%
Pass Accuracy - 89%
Shots per game - 19.4
Discipline - 14Y, 2R

Burnley

Goals per game - 1
Avg Possesion - 45.6%
Pass Accuracy - 72.1%
Shots per game - 13.4
Discipline - 14Y, 0R

**Stats courtesy of Whoscored.com

Team News

City are without Mendy and Vincent Kompany (who may be starting to wonder if he will get back into the side).

Burnley will be missing Tom Heaton, Dean Marney and John Walters.

Potential starting XI, subs & formation


Ederson

Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Delph

De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva B

Sterling, Aguero, Diaz

Subs:-

Bravo, Mangala, Walker, Toure, Silva D, Fernandinho, Jesus
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19 October 2017 08:32 Post ID: #608763 - in reply to #608760
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Good post Skoorb and I hope as you say, they don’t take this game lightly. I doubt if they would do nowadays as they should all be really fighting for a place and they are all excellent players in their own way.
Here’s hoping for another goalfest.
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19 October 2017 09:21 Post ID: #608769 - in reply to #608760
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Can't see Pep allowing them to take their foot of the gas, I heard José Fonte remark last week that Bernardo had told him the squad had three team meetings prior to the Stoke game, meticulous is an understatement it seems.

I read elsewhere that Roger East is the ref for this one Skoorb?
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19 October 2017 11:29 Post ID: #608770 - in reply to #608760
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I don't think we should take the Wolves too lightly either, they are top of the Championship and playing some neat football. Will Pep create history and go unchanged vs Burnley, I don't think so and the team that Skoorb has picked should be good enough to fix up the bus parking clarets.
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19 October 2017 12:20 Post ID: #608771 - in reply to #608769
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Bluedub - 19/10/2017 09:21



I read elsewhere that Roger East is the ref for this one Skoorb?



It is indeed https://www.premierleague.com/news/494070
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19 October 2017 12:22 Post ID: #608772 - in reply to #608770
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johnkelv - 19/10/2017 11:29

I don't think we should take the Wolves too lightly either, they are top of the Championship and playing some neat football. Will Pep create history and go unchanged vs Burnley, I don't think so and the team that Skoorb has picked should be good enough to fix up the bus parking clarets.


John Pep was very scathing about the League Cup and I do not think he will be to bothered if we were to be knocked out.

I think the side will be completely different from the one selected for Burnley
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19 October 2017 12:32 Post ID: #608773 - in reply to #608760
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I tough side and some creditable draws against so called superior Clubs.

Sean Dyche has Burnley playing as a settled team with that advantage of being able to pick your best side for every game and with that draws and wins bring confidence 8th place is excellent and City should not underestimate their opponents.

Last season one thing struck me about what Pep said, 'He had seen lots of Premier games on the TV'

I think in reality, the Premier came as a shock to him not only the games but the way Referees decisions differed from those on the Continent.

His approach to games and the careful selection of players bought in to the Club has been meticulous as is the preparation for each game, Pep too has had the pleasure of being able to field the same team 3 games on the trot and depending on the fitness of David Silva, I think he will do so again and be able to rest his players until next week, leaving as many out as possible against Championship leaders Wolves.

A 1-0 win and 3 points will do me, but i know pep likes his teams to attack and score.
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19 October 2017 18:02 Post ID: #608778 - in reply to #608760
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I put it in the Napoli post match thread that I could see several changes being on the cards along the lines that Skoorb has shown above in his selection, but that we'd keep the threat out wide.

My further point was that this XI on Saturday wouldn't be a country mile away from the League Cup line up against Wolves.

By all accounts Sane was struggling, so it wouldn't surprise me if we went Sterling/G Jesus/Aguero up front.
A settled defence is the key, although there's one change there with Danilo for Walker; the other I could see on Tuesday is Mangala getting a run out. We'll see.
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19 October 2017 19:17 Post ID: #608782 - in reply to #608760
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Ederson

Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Delph

De Bruyne, Gundogan,

Sterling, Aguero, Jesus

Subs:-

Bravo, Mangala, Walker,Fernandinho, Jesus, Touré, Zinchenko

scratch VK4, not fit.
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20 October 2017 18:02 Post ID: #608797 - in reply to #608760
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I am off to the match so it is up early and off, lets hope it's a good day. COME ON CITY!!!!!!
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20 October 2017 19:32 Post ID: #608799 - in reply to #608782
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Buzz Lightyear - 19/10/2017 07:17

Ederson

Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Delph

De Bruyne, Gundogan,

Sterling, Aguero, Jesus

Subs:-

Bravo, Mangala, Walker,Fernandinho, Jesus, Touré, Zinchenko

scratch VK4, not fit.


I like this lineup a touch better, but I hope Skoorb is right and Diaz gets a runout.
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20 October 2017 19:47 Post ID: #608800 - in reply to #608760
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The last time Roger East reffed one of our games

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20 October 2017 20:05 Post ID: #608801 - in reply to #608799
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BamaEngineer - 20/10/2017 19:32

Buzz Lightyear - 19/10/2017 07:17

Ederson

Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Delph

De Bruyne, Gundogan,

Sterling, Aguero, Jesus

Subs:-

Bravo, Mangala, Walker,Fernandinho, Jesus, Touré, Zinchenko



scratch VK4, not fit.


I like this lineup a touch better, but I hope Skoorb is right and Diaz gets a runout.



I suspect he may do against Wolves Midweek
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20 October 2017 20:06 Post ID: #608802 - in reply to #608782
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Buzz Lightyear - 19/10/2017 19:17

Ederson

Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Delph

De Bruyne, Silva,Sane

Sterling, Aguero

Subs:-

Bravo, Mangala, Walker,Fernandinho, Jesus, Touré, Jesus

scratch VK4, not fit.


CHanged in view of Pep saying all well except VK4
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20 October 2017 21:03 Post ID: #608804 - in reply to #608760
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“Is Burnley away form down to luck, or a structure and a plan?”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/41670800
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21 October 2017 09:12 Post ID: #608810 - in reply to #608760
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Pep on left-back: "We're going to see in the next games if Zinchenko is able to play in that position."
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21 October 2017 10:35 Post ID: #608811 - in reply to #608760
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^ I can only assume that refers to midweek in the Cup, unless Delph has picked up a knock that hasn't been spoken about, and is contrary to the messages coming out of City.
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