Manchester City’s title defence has been an arduous and unlucky one so far, but granted some luck, they can keep their title hopes alive with victory against Burnley tonight.
City’s 2-2 draw against Newcastle, combined with a 2-1 win for Liverpool against Brighton, means they are now 11 points behind the reds. City, who started the season odds on for a third straight Premier League title, are now 10/3 with Star Sports but their fans should not give up hope; Jurgen Klopp’s men were 10 points clear of City back at the end of December in 2018/19 and the Citizens eventually managed to reel them in.
To do the same this season, they will have to make it through the midst of a defensive injury crisis and hope for a change in luck with their finishing. They were utterly dominant against Newcastle, when they won the shot count 24-9, the shots on target count 9-3, and the expected goals count 2.6 to 0.6 yet found themselves pegged back by Jonjo Shelvey’s brilliant equaliser.
Keeping clean sheets will be difficult whilst Aymeric Laporte is still out but their problems have mostly come from failing to make the most of their regular dominance. Expected goals ratings have them top of the table and they’ve won the shot count in each of the games that’s seen them drop points bar a 2-0 loss against Wolves when they were off-colour and missing Kevin de Bruyne and Leroy Sane from the start.
Sane’s out for the season but the front three of Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez have mostly been firing and with David Silva and Kevin De Bryune – scorer of their brilliant second goal at St James’s Park last week – in the side they can get past any defence.
Burnley v Man City
20:15 Amazon Prime Video
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD*
(Maximum 10 matches, Since 2010)
APR 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Burnley 0-1 Manchester City
JAN 2019 FA CUP Manchester City 5-0 Burnley
OCT 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 5-0 Burnley
FEB 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Burnley 1-1 Manchester City
JAN 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 4-1 Burnley
JAN 2018 FA CUP Manchester City 4-1 Burnley
OCT 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 3-0 Burnley
JAN 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 2-1 Burnley
NOV 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Burnley 1-2 Manchester City
MAR 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Burnley 1-0 Manchester City
DEC 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 2-2 Burnley
Burnley’s recent good form came to an abrupt end when a rare poor game for Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes continued to a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday but they’d won four without conceding before that at Turf Moor and Palace are noted for their strong away performances.
Both those two have been impressive for a Burnley side that’s currently sitting 10th in the table and they did fire 15 shots in the defeat to Palace and they could be boosted further still by the potential returns of Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Matej Vydra if they pass late fitness tests.
However, those two home losses came against Liverpool (3-0) and Chelsea (4-2) and City should have enough to keep themselves in the race here. That said, it’s hardly going to be a stroll – City haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last seven matches – and it could be an eventful one.
PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 223.68 points
(excluding Political Bets posted 8 August and 23 Nov, Premier League ante-post, Cameron Brown football bets)