City wary of Burnley after Euro exertions

LONDON • Manchester City head to their Premier League match against Burnley today boosted by their entry into the last 16 of the Champions League following a midweek 1-1 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Pep Guardiola's side have been inconsistent while juggling European and domestic demands, dropping points in each of their last three home league matches and falling to third place in the table as a result.

However, they are unbeaten in five matches in all competitions - a run that includes a memorable victory over Spanish giants Barcelona.

Still, a short turnaround after their European exploits could cause problems for City, who lost 1-0 on their last league visit to Turf Moor in March last year.

"It is tough to fly back and be prepared," winger Kevin de Bruyne said. "There will be almost no training for the game on Saturday but we will try to be there and have a good performance."

Guardiola must consider what role Yaya Toure should play against Burnley. The midfielder made a surprising return to the starting line-up at Crystal Palace last weekend, and scored both goals in a 2-1 win. City captain Vincent Kompany, however, has been ruled out after damaging his knee ligaments.

For Burnley, Monday's 4-0 loss at West Bromwich Albion was a sobering experience for manager Sean Dyche and his players.

Dyche is likely to give those players who under-performed at The Hawthorns a chance to redeem themselves against City, but has acknowledged that his side face a significant challenge this weekend.

"There's a huge gulf between (us and Man City) both on and off the pitch," he said. "But it is the marvel of football when random results turn up. We've had our fair share of them over my time here, and even this season. So who knows?"

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2016, with the headline 'City wary of Burnley after Euro exertions'. Print Edition | Subscribe