It’s the first of what feels like three cup finals in the Premier League. Manchester City travel to Turf Moor off the back of a thrilling win in the Manchester Derby, maintaining their hold on the Premier League trophy. For many, a win against Sean Dyche’s men would significantly increase their confidence in Manchester City retaining the Premier League crown for the first time in the club’s history. However, that will be easier said than done, and Burnley’s form in 2019 proves that…
Ahead of Sunday afternoon’s clash in Lancashire, we spoke to Matt from the ‘No Nay Never‘ Podcast to get his views on a range of topics!T
There has been a remarkable turn around in form in the Premier League for Burnley since the turn of the year. What do you put this down to and how would you assess your league form in 2019?
Our form since Christmas has been comparable to that of the top six. We have actually got more points than Chelsea! The turning point was the Boxing Day defeat at home to Everton. The squad sat down after that and pressed the reset button. Sean Dyche was brave enough to make a couple of key changes – most notably dropping Joe Hart and bringing Tom Heaton back into the side. He also gave a certain Dwight McNeil a start and he has been a revelation – the best thing about the second half of the season.
Burnley have a fantastic record when facing the reigning Premier League Champions. How do you feel going into Sunday’s clash against Manchester City?
Our record is impressive, however I think this game has come at a point of the season where Manchester City just cannot afford to drop points and with the Champions League dream gone, you will be determined to get the three points. I don’t think we will be able to stop you.
Liverpool fans will be hoping Burnley take points off Manchester City at Turf Moor. But who are you backing in this season’s title race?
I always think that the team who is in front has just got to keep on going so now Manchester City have won their game in hand, I think the advantage is with you, however, on paper, you have the tougher run-in.
Burnley fan Alistair Campbell claimed earlier this week that Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola would struggle to achieve as much as Sean Dyche has with Burnley. Is this something you can agree with?
I can see what Alistair Campbell means because of the make-up of the squad; the style of play and the ethos of the club. Burnley do almost everything the ‘Burnley Way’ and I personally can’t imagine any other manager being able to continue what Sean Dyche has created.
Where do you see the main battle taking place on the pitch and who should Manchester City be looking out for?
Our defence will have their work cut out containing Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva all afternoon. Burnley’s main threat at the moment comes from Dwight McNeil on the left-wing and the physical presence of our two front men, Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood. We have also scored most of our goals recently from set pieces so look out for training ground moves there.
Team prediction and score prediction?
Sean Dyche will be unchanged again as is his style: Heaton; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Barnes, Wood. I think we might test you but you will be too strong in the end. 3-1 to Manchester City.
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