Manchester City ended the year on a disappointing note as they put in a below par performance at Anfield to continue their losing streak in front of the Kop. The repercussions of the loss, at least on their season objectives, will be huge as the find themselves 10 points off the leaders, Chelsea and will potentially drop to the 5th spot by the end of the weekend.
But it is not the time to retrospect as of yet as the games keep on coming thick and fast with their match against Burnley scheduled to take place in just 44 hours from the Liverpool one and Pep has to decide on the team and tactics to make sure of the 3 points against the Clarets. The Sky Blues cannot afford to drop any more points if they are to be anywhere close to the top, come the end of the season.
In fact, the form of Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United and the abundance of quality on offer will surely make the fight for a Top 4 spot even harder. The month of December, which was rightly touted as the most important month till now this season has almost been a disaster for them, with wins against Watford and Arsenal ensuring they don’t fall even below.
They have to win against Burnley. Period.
PREDICTED MANCHESTER CITY LINE-UP VS BURNLEY (4-1-4-1)
Claudio Bravo will be in goal but it is becoming increasingly clear that the Chilean is having difficulties settling into this league. He needs to step up fast. Bacary Sagna is likely to get a game with Zabaleta getting rested. John Stones and Kolarov can be the centre-back pairing with Otamendi getting a rest while Gael Clichy can line-up at left-back. The defence has been their biggest issue and does not seem to be getting any better.
Fernando might get a look in with or he can be utilised against West Ham United in the FA Cup. Fernandinho looked a bit off against Liverpool and needs to get his rhythm back. Yaya Toure needs a rest and we might see Garcia come in place of him but it is more likely for the FA Cup. Fernandinho can line up in a slightly advanced role then. Silva is likely to line-up in the No.8 role beside either of the two.
De Bruyne might start from the bench with Nolito getting a game on the left. Sterling might be rested with Navas an option but it is unlikely. Sergio Aguero will be leading the attack and will look to get back in the race for the Golden Boot.