Four topics up for discussion ahead of our clash with Lancastrian neighbours Burnley…
1 Defensive duo
City could be spoilt for choice for central defensive pairing opportunities at Turf Moor.
If John Stones has recovered from illness in midweek, Pep will have Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi and Aymeric Laporte to select from against Burnley.
It looks a tough task to select just two of those four, but given Stones’ illness and Laporte’s hectic week, the boss may opt for a Kompany/Otamendi pairing – but we shall see…
2 Low scoring game likely?
While Burnley’s away form has been excellent this season, their home form has not been quite as impressive.
While nobody doubts a win at Turf Moor must be earned and is never easy, Sean Dyche will be slightly concerned that his side have only managed eight goals at home in the Premier League and managed two goals on just one occasion.
Some 11 games have seen the hosts score one or no goals this season and the six sides that have scored have left unbeaten.
Only Crystal Palace have managed to stop the Blues scoring on the road this season, so bagging at least one goal on Saturday will be high on the Pep’s wish-list (obviously!).
3 Another high press?
Burnley were very much on the front foot against City at the Etihad in the FA Cup last month and took a deserved lead before eventually being beaten 4-1.
They were also impressive in the league game and perhaps a shade unlucky to concede a first-half penalty that ultimately swung the game the Blues’ way.
So, the question is, what will Dyche have gleaned from those games and can he use it to good effect on Saturday?
The Clarets have started well in both games and used a high press in the FA Cup, so with a vibrant Turf Moor behind them, they may opt to try the same tactic again.
4 Deserved break
City’s continued involvement in all four competitions means there has been little opportunity for the players to recover and rest.
It seems there has been a game every three or four days for most of the campaign so the fact there is no midweek game next week and a whole week before the Blues entertain Leicester City could be crucial.
An opportunity to give tired legs the chance to rest up for the challenges ahead is exactly what the doctor would order if asked!