Burnley vs Manchester City
That’s about the size of it for Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s champions are miles off the pace in their bid to retain the Premier League title and draws will only take the dream further away.
So when the Sky Blues turn up in Burnley to face Sean Dyche’s Clarets on Tuesday night they desperately need to beat one, if not the, toughest outfit in the league.
Guardiola takes his team to Turf Moor in strange circumstances for the champions. We haven’t made it to Christmas yet and Manchester City are already 11 points behind the leaders after dropping points to Newcastle and then watching ten-man Liverpool eat Brighton at the weekend, and the Premier League 2019 betting odds are now firmly on the side of the Merseysiders.
And when you need a win, Burnley on an icy December night is about the last place you’d want to go, particularly when the Clarets are hurting from a home defeat at the weekend, and determined to take their pain out on the next in line.
It won’t be one for the feint-hearted and, despite their technical superiority the Sky Blues will have to match their hosts’ courage.
Time running out for City
We aren’t even halfway through the season, but you’d have to say if the gap between Liverpool and Manchester City grows any wider then it must be as good as over for the Sky Blues. Guardiola insists his side isn’t prioritising the Champions League, but results suggest otherwise.
City thought they’d won at Newcastle on Saturday when Kevin de Bruyne scored a stunning strike in the 83rd minute, but they couldn’t hold on and had to settle for a single point after failing to keep a clean sheet for the seventh successive occasion. The loss of Aymeric Laporte has made such a difference. Pep’s best option at the back is the error-prone John Stones alongside makeshift centre back Fernandinho. But the boss hasn’t given up yet, saying: “We have another opponent in front of us, so we now have to try to win games, win games and see what happens.
“I said at the press conference yesterday that it’s not a good idea to think about the Premier League or think how many points. We have to win games, win games, win games, and when you don’t win, it will be more difficult.”
Burnley on the bounce
That won’t be easy on Tuesday. Sean Dyche has instilled a steely mentality in Burnley ever since his arrival back in 2012. In winning the Championship in 2016 his team’s modus operandi was to be ‘relentless’, crushing lesser sides without mercy and riding the few storms when they came.
In their fourth consecutive season at the top table the Clarets are more than holding their own, already qualifying for Europe in 2018. And playing them when they have just lost isn’t always a good idea. Take a look at the Clarets’ Premier League 2019 results and you’ll see what I mean. They have won five, drawn three and lost six so far, neither going on winning or losing runs.
The last time Burnley threw in poor performance, a defeat at Sheffield United, they followed that up with back-to-back 3-0 wins.
The Clarets missed midfield terrier Ashley Westwood in the home defeat to Palace on Saturday, and he’ll be welcomed back against the champions. The 29-year-old has missed just two games in 25 and both were surrendered, the last occasion being in February against Newcastle. He’s a crucial player for Burnley and compares with the best in the league.
Only four British midfielders have clocked up more than Westwood’s 613 passes in the top flight, he has a 72 per cent tackling success rate and has a real bite, earning the five yellow cards which resulted in his one-match suspension.
The Clarets have won only one in 14 attempts against Manchester City, drawing three and losing the other ten.
The last two league games at Turf Moor have resulted in a 0-1 win for City and a 1-1 draw. Memorably Aguero’s winner last term was adjudged to have crossed the line by 19mm and that was enough to push the Sky Blues over the line in that scintillating title race.
The Clarets are yet to draw at home this season, having won four and drawn three.
|Burnley vs Manchester City||Burnley Asian Handicap +1.75 @ 1.97|
|December 04, 04:15 (GMT+8)|
Burnley are way out at odds of 11.50 to win, here at SBOBET, with the Sky Blues at 1.24 and draw at 5.60, but Guardiola won’t be fooled into thinking this will be a comfortable night.
Sean Dyche will let his team know they owe their fans a performance, and I can see a tense night under the floodlights. 1-2 at odds of 8.75 would be warmly welcomed by the Sky Blues.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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