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Burnley vs. Manchester City: Champions ‘heavily fancied’ to bounce back with a win

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Reigning champions Manchester City head to Burnley languishing in third place in the Premier League table, eleven points behind title rivals Liverpool.

The sizable gap between the two sides was extended from nine to eleven points on Saturday afternoon after City unexpectedly dropped points at Newcastle United in a 2-2 draw, with Liverpool nervously edging out Brighton 2-1 at Anfield having been reduced to ten-men with fifteen minutes to go.

City did manage to overturn a seven-point deficit last campaign; while the gap is now larger, a team packed with as much stardust as they are should not be ruling themselves out of the race just yet.

Clearly, though, their margin for error is now minimal, starting with Tuesday night’s trip to Turf Moor, which will kick-off at 20:15 (GMT) live on Amazon Prime.

The bookmakers heavily fancy City to do the business, pricing them at an odds-on 1/4 to bag the three points.

Burnley are 12/1 to secure a memorable victory, with the draw 5/1.

Given Burnley are at home, where the atmosphere can prove intimidating for away teams, and they have physicality in attack and from set pieces to hurt City’s back-line, the odds on Burnley do look big.

Moreover, the two sides’ meetings at Turf Moor since Burnley’s return to the Premier League under manager Sean Dyche have always been tight.

City have won two – both by only a one goal margin – with one draw and one Burnley win.

It’s likely that it is Burnley’s recent home record against the so-called ‘Big Six’ overall which is standing against them in terms of the odds, having already been well-beaten at home to Liverpool and Chelsea this season.

Moreover, Burnley’s only points at home against the ‘Big Six’ in the previous two campaigns arrived with the 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur last season, and the aforementioned draw against City in 2017/18.

So it does seem a little tough to confidently back Burnley – even at the inflated odds.

Perhaps a better-value price may be Raheem Sterling continuing his sensational form in front of goal.

Sterling is 11/10 to score anytime, having already scored six goals in seven away league games so far this season, including the opener at Newcastle on Saturday.

Without the injured Sergio Aguero leading the line, his importance to the side in terms of the goal threat he carries increases.

This is reflected by the fact that six of his eight Premier League goals this season have been scored when Gabriel Jesus has started ahead of Aguero up front.

I'm a freelance sports journalist who has worked for Goal & Bleacher Report amongst others. Get in touch, you're more than welcome to do so via Twitter.  

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