You can’t help but feel sorry for Burnley.
Not only was their terrific surge up the Premier League table stopped in its tracks for three months, they now have to go to Manchester City on their return to competitive football.
Not only that, but they must face a City side with a competitive game already under their belts and no distractions of an upcoming Champions League tie with Real Madrid like they would have done if the sides had met in March.
There is little hope for Burnley on Monday and City are quite possibly the worst side that they could come up against in a match played behind closed doors.
City’s style of football so often resembles a training drill and, with competitive matches now resembling a training ground scenario somewhat, one would think that it would suit City down to the ground.
Furthermore, a lot more teams may end up crumbling against the relentless waves of City pressure without the backing of their supporters to keep them honest in times of particular defensive hardship.
It didn’t take City long to get to their fluid best last Wednesday and they will look to continue that form all the way through the Premier League run-in, so that they are fully ready for the Champions League in August.
While this game would have been an unnecessary distraction for City in March, that is not the case now and they should run out comfortable winners.
When it comes to scoring goals, the current Premier League champions are capable of scoring from all areas, and their potency in front of goal is so well distributed that a staggering three players are odds on to score anytime on Monday night.
But, one player will be itching to get his name on the score sheet more than any other. Sergio Aguero, City’s top scorer in the league, is just three goals behind Jamie Vardy in the Premier League golden boot race.
Aguero looked absolutely desperate to find the net when he was sprung from the bench against Arsenal and would have done were it not for a fine save from Bernd Leno.
The Argentine’s minutes-per-goal record this season (88) is absolutely phenomenal and there is a real chance that he could overtake Andy Cole in the all-time Premier League scoring charts by the season’s end.
He will hope to start having been left out for most of Wednesday night’s game and he will be absolutely ravenous.
Pep Guardiola’s side enjoyed 67% of the ball against Arsenal on Wednesday and that figure will only increase against Sean Dyche’s Burnley, who are so often comfortable out of possession.
With that possession comes territory, and with that territory comes shots, and lots of them. They had 18 of them on Wednesday and will expect to have plenty more against Burnley.
Those shots will inevitably lead to a high corner count and City should run out easy winners in the corner handicap markets.
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