Clarets all set to cause major upset

01 January 2017 09:03
Burnley who boast the worst away record in the Premier League are overwhelming favourites to lose at the Etihad on January 2nd, just 48 hours after slaughtering Sunderland 4-1 at Turf Moor.

Sean Dyche's Clarets have become the Premier League's new whipping boys on their travels, picking up just one single point in a magnificent rearguard action at Old Trafford, inspired by Burnley captain and England shot stopper Tom Heaton.

One point from eight games might suggest certain relegation, the Clarets are however an entirely different proposition at "Fortress Turf Moor," winning seven games from eleven and drawing one.

Twenty three points from nineteen games is a respectable total for any newly promoted team into the English Premier League and Sean Dyche will be satisfied with the Clarets' point tally at the halfway stage of the season.

Burnley will travel to Manchester sitting in a respectable eleventh position and will be looking to equal or better their two draws at the Etihad in their last two appearances at the home of the Blues.

Kicking off the second half of the season at the Etihad was never going to be an easy task and Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, smarting on the back of a 1-0 reverse at Anfield on New Year's Eve will be looking to get their season back on track.

City are already ten points behind Chelsea and need to start picking up points if they harbour any thoughts of closing in on the runaway leaders from Stamford Bridge.

Manchester City hosting Burnley have provided historic moments for the Clarets. On a memorable May night at Maine Road, goals from Brian Pilkington and Trevor Meredith gave the Clarets a 2-1 victory, to clinch the First Division Championship for the 1959-60 season.

A Colin Waldron strike saw Jimmy Adamson's Burnley win the Charity Shield at Maine Road in 1973, led by the immaculate Martin Dobson. Halcyon days for the Clarets indeed!

Despite Burnley's abysmal away form this season, Sean Dyche has implemented considerable improvement in the Clarets recent performances on their travels.

A narrow and undeserved 1-0 loss at West Ham United was followed by a 2-1 reverse at high flying Tottenham Hotspur but the nature of the Clarets' performances suggests a victory on the road is imminent.

Burnley have reverted into their favoured 4-4-2 formation, with their talismanic striker Andre Gray back in the sort of form that will trouble any defence. The match ball for a hat trick against Sunderland signifies the striker's return to form.

Ashley Barnes is fully fit and his rumbustious style of play will certainly unsettle a ball playing defensive lineup which includes the likes of John Stones. 

Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick is available for selection following his one match ban which saw him miss the Sunderland clash.

A surprise upset may well be on the cards. One thing is for certain, Manchester City cannot afford to be complacent with a rampant Andre Gray on the prowl. 

It is unlikely that Sean Dyche will travel to the Etihad and park the bus.

I expect Burnley to lineup in a 4-4-2 formation:
Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Gudmundsson, Hendrick, Marney, Boyd, Barnes, Gray. (TEC).

Source: DSG