Burnley boss Sean Dyche expecting strong response from Manchester City following postponement
Last Updated: 13/03/20 12:04pm
Burnley manager Sean Dyche will be wary of a "fresher" Manchester City side if their match goes ahead as planned this weekend despite worries over the coronavirus.
City's clash against Arsenal on Wednesday was postponed as a precautionary measure because Nottingham Forest and Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis, who announced on Tuesday that he had contracted Covid-19, met Gunners staff and players during the February 27 Europa League tie.
Pep Guardiola's side were therefore given a much-welcome breather in their crowded schedule ahead of Saturday afternoon's visit of Burnley, who are unbeaten in seven top-flight matches.
But despite his side's recent good form, Dyche is taking nothing for granted against a City outfit that were beaten by bitter rivals Manchester United last weekend and are seemingly weeks away from relinquishing the league title to Liverpool, who sit 25 points clear at the top of the standings.
Dyche said: "Forgetting about the virus for a second, (the postponement against Arsenal) allows the players to be slightly fresher, it probably allows a bit more scope for whether they were going to make changes or not make them.
"Whatever side Man City put out, they're a strong outfit and we all know that.
"They've had a bit more of an up and down time this season, partly - and not just them - because of the power of Liverpool and the way they've gone about it in the league.
"But they're still a very, very strong squad. Whatever is going on in the world and if that doesn't affect the game and we go ahead then we've got to be prepared for a good outfit, very strong at home."
The coronavirus has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation and it is uncertain whether any games will go ahead this weekend.
On the threat of matches being played behind closed doors or being cancelled altogether, Dyche was able to see the bigger picture.
He said: "I know where football is in my life, let alone the grand scheme of life. If this is deemed a worldwide situation then football, all of a sudden, disappears slightly into the distance.
"But currently we can't control it and we certainly control the decisions that are made, we just have to be as professional as we can during this period and go with whatever is decided.
"It's not ideal, of course, but we know that health is more important than anything."
As for whether any of his players had shown any symptoms of the virus, Dyche added: "Not that we know of, everyone's fit and healthy."