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Burnley boss Sean Dyche expects Steven Defour to miss the rest of the season

Defender James Tarkowski will also miss Saturday’s clash with runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Burnley midfielder Steven Defour is expected to miss the rest of the season through injury, manager Sean Dyche has said.

The Clarets confirmed earlier this week that Defour needs surgery to correct the knee cartilage problem that has been troubling him in recent games.

The 29-year-old could also be doubtful for Belgium’s World Cup campaign as a result of the operation.

Speaking at a press conference reported by the club’s website, www.burnleyfootballclub.com, Dyche said: “It is likely to be the season, I would think.

“Credit to Steven. His mentality has been solid this year and he has played very well.

“He wanted to carry on with it. He had a sore knee but nothing major, and he was getting on and managing it wisely over the last few weeks.

“It was only really a precautionary scan that showed there was some cartilage off his knee and he’s going to have to have that dealt with.

“Depending on what they do, it could be the season, and there’s a strong chance it will be the season.”

Defender James Tarkowski will also miss Saturday’s clash with runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City despite hopes he would be fit after missing the midweek draw at Newcastle with a groin injury.

Burnley have lost twice to City at the Etihad Stadium this season but did cause Pep Guardiola’s men some problems, despite eventually going down 3-0 in the league and 4-1 in the FA Cup.

In last month’s cup clash particularly – during which the Clarets led 1-0 at half-time – Dyche’s side impressed, underling the form that has lifted them to seventh in the table in an excellent campaign.

Dyche said: “It’s another chance for us to take on one of the super powers of the league. We have done well against them over the season.

“Manchester City are the best side this season and they have shown that, quite obviously. I think everyone agrees.

“They are a very powerful side, both home and away. But that’s what we love about football. These challenges are there for you to take and we want the team to take on the challenge.

“We had a really good go at these in the FA Cup, certainly for 60-65 minutes.

“We want to take on these games. Although they are hard games, I think it’s terrific for these teams to be visiting Turf Moor, for our fans to see them and, more importantly, see their own side challenge these teams like we have done.”

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