City keen to put opening day loss behind against Norwich; Liverpool faces Dyche's Burnley at home

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, favourite to defend its Premier League title, has had a shaky start to its campaign with the opening day 1-0 loss at Tottenham Hotspur.

FILE PHOTO: Pep Guardiola looks on during Man City's match against Tottenham Hotspur.   -  REUTERS

When Sean Dyche takes his Burnley team to Anfield on Saturday, there will be nothing but good memories for the Clarets boss.

Burnley's gritty and stubborn performance saw it clinch a 1-0 win at Anfield last season, thus shattering Liverpool's 68-game unbeaten record at home.

But Klopp's usually well-oiled Liverpool has shown that it can forget hiccups and focus on the road ahead.

It is a new season, and it is a rejuvenated Liverpool side, far from the injury-ridden unit of last season, that underwent a six-game losing run at home.

Liverpool has started this campaign confidently with a 3-0 win against the newly-promoted Norwich City. It was the Egyptian talisman, Mohamed Salah who grabbed eyeballs again with his 74th-minute goal, that made him the first Premier League player in history to score on opening day for five consecutive seasons.

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Klopp has no reason to tinker with his starting XI for the Norwich match. While Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara slowly rebuild their match fitness and should be available at Klopp's disposal, Kostas Tsimikas will be the likely choice at left-back as Andy Robertson continues his recovery from ankle ligament damage.

For Burnley, which suffered a 2-1 home loss to Brighton and Hove Albion in its opening day match, Dale Stephens and Kevin Long remain unavailable with an ankle and calf injury respectively.

City looking to bounce back from opening day upset

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City is favourite to defend its Premier League title, especially with the injection of the highly talented Jack Grealish but has had a shaky start to its campaign with the opening day 1-0 loss at Tottenham Hotspur.

The versatile Grealish, who moved from Aston Villa to City for a British transfer record, showed glimpses of his excellence on the ball against Spurs, but couldn't conjure enough to prevent City's loss.

Despite being a well-run unit, the lack of a world-class striker is glaring in Guardiola's team after Sergio Aguero's departure. This is the sole reason behind City's pursuit of Harry Kane this summer.

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Coming to City's recent record against Norwich, it thumped Daniel Farke's team 5-0 when the two teams met in July 2020 but it would be unfair to completely negate the Canaries, which registered a shocking 3-2 win at Carrow Road in September 2019.

The newly-promoted Norwich is surely lacking breathing space with the opening fixtures not being kind to it. After an opening day loss against Liverpool, Farke has to motor his men into tackling the Premier League champion for their second fixture.

Guardiola is known to play around with his team selection and this week will be no different. Players like Kyle Walker, Oleksandr Zinchenko, John Stones and Kevin De Bruyne can all return to the starting XI this week. A certain absence will be that of talented youngster, Phil Foden, who is recovering from a foot problem.

Ilkay Gundogan's shoulder injury against Tottenham has been reported as nothing serious so he will most likely feature in Guardiola's starting XI as well.

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Farke does not have any fresh injury problems to deal with so an unchanged side from the Liverpool match is a possibility.

Premier League matches on August 21

MatchTime (In IST)
Liverpool vs Burnley5:00 pm
Aston Villa vs Newcastle United7.30 pm
Crystal Palace vs Brentford7.30 pm
Leeds United vs Everton7.30 pm
Manchester City vs Norwich City7.30 pm
Brighton and Hove Albion vs Watford10.00 pm

 

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