Date: 2nd April 2010 at 3:59pm
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Challenge No4 of City’s 10 game mini-season sees a currently Tevez propped City travel to relegation haunted Burnley for yet another do or die fixture?

Vital Quotes:

Roberto Mancini:

‘They have proved over the course of the season they are not easy to beat on their own ground and I think if we don’t play aggressive, focused football, we could have a problem. They have a number of good players and I think we have to respect their team and manager. They will be desperate to win this match because of their situation.

‘We need to start confidently, defend well and take our chances when they come. It will be a full-house and the Burnley fans make a lot of noise and get behind their team, but we are looking forward to it and it should be a good game of football.’

Brian Laws:

‘Manchester City are in terrific form and we are not in terms of results. But we aim to turn that around and a win would give everyone a huge lift. It would put major pressure on West Ham, knowing we were grabbing their ankles and pulling them in.

‘It is a great opportunity for us. We have to make it difficult for Manchester City. The pressure will be on them as they need a win to stay in touch with the top four. The important thing is getting that first goal. That could be massive. It would lift everyone’s spirits, players and supporters. I feel if we approach the game in the right manner we have every chance.’

Kolo Toure:

‘All the games are going to be really tough at this stage of the season. Burnley are fighting for their lives and they are going to give everything. We saw that with Wigan on Monday.

‘We will have to be patient again, if we keep hold of the ball we can tire teams out when they are desperate to do well. Once a team begins to get tired, that’s when we can hurt them. We did that against Wigan, and I think that might be the way we play against Burnley as well.’

VMC City Video Link: Mancio Burnley Press Conference

Burnley Team News:

Club skipper Caldwell is set to return after a lengthy lay off but former Blue Jordan is a doubt.

McCann, who has just undergone knee surgery is out.

Player to watch: Robbie Blake

This is precisely the type of encounter 34 year old Blake will relish if he gets the nod to start from his gaffer.

Laws took a panning in some quarters for not starting with Blake for the Clarets’ Blackburn defeat last time out. City need to be very wary of characters like Blake.

Manchester City Team News:

The most notable Blue absentee for his drive and never say die approach will be Zabaleta who starts a 2 game ban for accumulating 10 bookings.

Meanwhile, Bridge, M Johnson, Petrov and Lescott remain sidelined alongside Ireland who just cannot get going this season.

Player to watch: Emmanuel Adebayor

Last week, I pinpointed Ade’s remaining input in these final weeks of the season as being crucial to Manchester City.

His early fire against Wigan rapidly faded and he looks as if he could use a goal or two to get him going. If he can produce what he is capable of and take the load off El Apache, City will qualify for the Champions League.

Match Facts & Stats

Top Scorers (all competitions): Tevez 25, Fletcher 11.

Tevez has now amassed 25 goals in 32 City starts with 19 coming in the Premier League.

Across all competitions City have not lost to Burnley in 6 fixtures.

City are unbeaten in the last 4 away fixtures, but have only kept an away clean sheet once in 10.

Burnley have not kept a clean sheet in 5 months of football.

The match will be shown live on ESPN with highlights on BBC Match of the Day.

Follow the action at Turf Moor and debate it Live on Saturday evening in the VMC Match Day Thread in our new look forums!:
Burnley v City: Match Day Thread – 3/4/10 – KO 5.30pm

Ref Watch:

A G Wiley (Staffordshire)

Booking centurion Wiley takes the controls for the 4th time involving Manchester City this season. The previous three were also away at Wigan, Spurs and Stoke. And we didn’t win any of them. Ominously, Wiley’s one reffing of Burnley came in August and their victory over the rags. He’ll need to have one of his better days this weekend with so much at stake for both sides.Current season record: Games:32, Yellow Cards:108, Red Cards:5

Match Prediction:

And so our quest to dine at that exclusive Euro table stays just about on course thanks to El Apache. This is the business end of the season and we are right in the thick of it for all the right reasons in stark contrast to what has gone before through the past three decades. The biggest factor in these remaining seven fixtures has to be experience and this City squad has it by the lorry load. But the sort of panicky flapping we saw against Wigan certainly didn’t reflect that fact. Right now I’ll take a win any which way it comes because wins will breed the confidence required for facing the likes of the rags. That said, I fully expect City to prevail with authority at Turf Moor. The Blues must pull together, do the simple things and look to each other for options. Do that and we’ll bag another crucial 3 points.
Johnny On The Spot: Burnley 0 City 2

Next Fixtures:

H: Birmingham, Sun 11 Apr 16h00 BST
H: The rags, Sat 17 Apr 12h45 BST
A: Arsenal, Sat 24 Apr 17h30 BST
H: Aston Villa, Sat 01 May 15h00 BST
H: Spurs, Wed 05 May 20h00 BST
A: West Ham, Sun 09 May 15h00 BST


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