Manchester City are almost at full strength and could field their strongest team for over a year when they face Burnley at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Kevin de Bruyne, who has been out since August with knee ligament damage, is fit again and could return against the Clarets. In addition, Benjamin Mendy and Fabian Delph have also recovered from their respective injuries and are also in line to make the squad.
With a back four that could contain any combination of Mendy, Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, Nicolas Otamendi, Vincent Kompany and John Stones, backed up by goalkeeper Ederson, the blues boast a back line that is more than capable of holding a Burnley strike force that has managed just 10 goals in eight Premier League games, with half of those being scored away from home.
In midfield, de Bruyne could make his first appearance since the opening day of the season, and will be eager to start where he left off from last season, having missed seven games through injury. He joined Bernardo Silva, who is looking in brilliant form again, Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Leroy Sane, Riyad Mahrez, Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho, while Oleksandr Zinchenko, Brahim Diaz and Phil Foden wait patiently for their chance.
Up front, Sergio Aguero looks to have returned to form and is holding off the threat of Gabriel Jesus as City’s main striker, as Guardiola resists playing both up front, favouring five across the middle instead.
After a very difficult start, which began with the Europa League in July, Burnley are unbeaten in three matches, beating Bournemouth and Cardiff, while drawing 1-1 at home to bottom club Huddersfield. Unfortunately for the Clarets, they suffered the indignity of exiting the League Cup at the hands of lower opposition as they were beaten 2-1 at Burton Albion. However, it took Sean Dyche’s team six games to record their first win of the season.
City sit on top of the league, with six wins from their opening eight matches and have won all their home games so far this season. By comparison, Burnley have won only once on the road this season in the League and sit in 12th place, 12 points behind the blues.
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