Manchester City v Burnley preview: Pep Guardiola can set new Premier League record
Last Updated: 20/10/18 6:58pm
Pep Guardiola's Manchester City can set another Premier League record against Burnley at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The English champions will hold the record for the longest unbeaten run of Premier League games on Saturdays at 3pm if they avoid defeat against Sean Dyche's side, taking their tally to 34 in a row.
City are joint top of the Premier League after playing out a goalless draw at Anfield in their last game before the international break, and would have been two points clear had Riyad Mahrez not missed a late penalty.
Kevin De Bruyne could make his first appearance since the opening day of the season since recovering quicker than expected from a knee injury, and returning to training during the international break.
Guardiola said: "I don't know if he is able to play 90 minutes but he has trained well in the last two weeks without pain. He is ready to be part of the group."
Burnley have finally got their season up and running with a run of seven points from their last three games, but travelling to the Etihad presents another test entirely.
Longer-term, Sean Dyche's job at Turf Moor could get a little easier after the Burnley boss confirmed the club is looking to appoint a technical director to oversee operations - with former Rangers and Nottingham Forest boss Mark Warburton linked with the role this week.
Dyche said: "We're trying to move the club forward on and off the pitch. All of this speaks for it off the pitch in many ways, the structure and everything. On the pitch with signings and stuff like that and adding to the framework of the
inner workings of the club.
"We feel there's a possibility of a role that would fit and that's where it's at at the moment. We're talking about it, myself, the chairman, the board, chief executive, about how that role works at a club like this.
"It won't be a technical director as in one who pulls all the strings. It's more of a conduit so we're all on the same page."
Player Soccer Saturday Super Six
Win Jeff's £1m by guessing the correct scores in six matches, including Manchester City v Burnley.
Steven Defour could make his long-awaited return for Burnley against Manchester City on Saturday.
The influential midfielder, who has not made a league appearance since suffering a serious knee injury in January, missed the last match against Huddersfield because of a personal issue but is available again.
James Tarkowski withdrew from England duty because of an ongoing groin niggle but is set to play. Nick Pope (shoulder), Ben Gibson (hernia) and Robbie Brady (hamstring) are all making good progress while Stephen Ward is set to be sidelined for several weeks after undergoing minor knee surgery.
Ilkay Gundogan will miss the visit of the Clarets, and City boss Pep Guardiola confirmed the German midfielder would miss several weeks of first-team action.
But Fabian Delph, who has been missing since mid-September, is fit enough for a return to the squad.
- Manchester City have won four of their eight Premier League games against Burnley (P8 W4 D3 L1), including each of their last two at the Etihad.
- Burnley are winless in 14 away league visits to Man City (P14 W0 D6 L8) since winning at Maine Road in March 1963 in a top-flight encounter.
- This will be the 100th meeting between Man City and Burnley in all competitions - City have won 44 of the previous 99, with 25 draws and 30 wins for the Clarets since their first meeting in October 1897.
- Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 33 Premier League games kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday (W29 D4). If they avoid defeat here, they'll set a new record for longest unbeaten run at that timeslot in the competition.
- Burnley have beaten the reigning Premier League champions at least once in each of their four previous Premier League campaigns (Man Utd in 2009-10, Man City in 2014-15, Leicester in 2016-17 and Chelsea in 2017-18).
- No side has a better win rate in Premier League games against reigning top-flight champions than Burnley do, with the Clarets having won four of their eight such games (Bournemouth and Manchester United also with 50% win rates).
- Man City striker Sergio Aguero has scored six goals in six games against Burnley in all competitions, scoring in each of his three appearances against the Clarets at the Etihad (four goals).
- Sean Dyche is looking to become the first English manager to win an away Premier League match against Man City since Harry Redknapp in May 2010 (Man City 0-1 Spurs) - since then, Englishmen have taken three points from 37 visits to the Etihad (P37 W0 D3 L34), losing the last 18 in a row.
- Man City's Raheem Sterling has been involved in 14 goals in his last 12 Premier League appearances at the Etihad (9 goals, 5 assists), scoring in all three of his home league games this season.
- Burnley's Sam Vokes has scored in each of his last two Premier League games, last netting in three consecutively in August 2017 (a run of four).
This is a nightmare game for Burnley. For Sean Dyche, it's a game you just want to get out of the way and start again afterwards. If Manchester City turn up hot, the scoreline could make uncomfortable reading for Burnley.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (5/1 with Sky Bet)