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06 January 2018 Venue Etihad Stadium Attendance

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Clarets Chasing Cup Marvel

Dyche plans changes but still wants FA Cup shock at Manchester City

5 January 2018

Sean Dyche has confirmed he will make changes as the Clarets launch their FA Cup bid at Premier League leaders and champions-in-waiting Manchester City on Saturday.

But the Burnley boss insists the players he sends out at the Etihad Stadium will be going all-out for a possible cup shock in front of 7,600 travelling fans.

The Clarets are coming off the back of a run of four league games in 10 days during the Christmas period, including two in three days over the New Year weekend.

Nine players started all four games, with striker Ashley Barnes playing three-and-a-half and Kevin Long three before James Tarkowski returned for last Monday’s last-gasp defeat to Liverpool.

Dyche has no complaints about the workload put on his squad, but admits he can’t ask them all to go again in the third-round tie at City.

“I hope to not make any excuses about all these games, which I choose not to. But there has to be a reality to it,” he said.

“Those players have put in a lot of effort over the Christmas period, when it’s more or less been the same group of players.

“That means there will be changes because I think it’s appropriate.

“We can’t continually risk players and the more fatigue players do get, that increases the risk of these minor injuries.

“But, there won’t be wholesale changes. It will still be a team that’s well recognised because we want to go there and give a good account of ourselves and be open-minded to what comes.”

Scott Arfield is the latest to be added to a five-man injury list with a hamstring tweak which makes him an unlikely starter.

Tom Heaton and Robbie Brady remain the long-term absentees, while Chris Wood and Stephen Ward are heading back to fitness.

However, Dyche does have the option of bringing in a number of senior players to give them valuable game-time and the chance to keep pushing for a more regular slice of the action.

And they will also have the added incentive of trying to be the first team to beat Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering side in a domestic match this season.

City are 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League, face the first leg of a Carbao Cup semi-final against Bristol City next Tuesday night and have tasted defeat only once in an incredible season – a 2-1 loss at Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk, having already booked their last place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

“We know it’s a tough game against a team that’s absolutely flying and a club with a very, very strong squad, let alone any given starting 11,” added Dyche.

“But equally, it’s a cup game and we all want the beauty and the marvel of the cup.

“We want to play our part in that, so we will be going there with full intent on taking the game on.”

City – who beat the Clarets 3-0 at home in the league in October - are also expected to make changes.

But Guardiola said he will play the strongest team he can and is likely to have several senior men on duty, given the depth of playing resources available to the five-times winners, who last lifted the Cup in 2011.  

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Match Reports

Manchester City 4 Burnley 1

Second-half City fightback after Ashley Barnes strike ends Clarets cup hopes

6 January 2018

Ashley Barnes added to his list of high-profile strikes but four second-half goals killed the Clarets’ hopes of an FA Cup shock as all-conquering Manchester City extended their incredible unbeaten run.

The Premier League leaders are now undefeated in domestic football this season, with their only loss in 38 games a dead Champions League rubber against Shakhtar Donetsk.

City were made to work for their latest success after Barnes had fired the Clarets in front in the 25th-minute to add to the equaliser he bagged here three seasons ago and the goals he has scored at Old Trafford, Anfield and White Hart Lane.

But Burnley haven’t won in 16 attempts at City – stretching back to 1963 – and that record was extended as Pep Guardiola’s expensively-assembled side went up a gear after the break to cruise into the fourth round once they had levelled with a controversial equaliser following a quickly-taken free-kick.

Sergio Aguero was the beneficary as he led the fightback with a rapid-fire double before Leroy Sane and substitute Bernardo Silva added to the tally to match the three-goal winning margin City also enjoyed in the league meeting between the sides in October.

Both sides made four changes from their last Premier League line-ups, with the Clarets bringing in Matthew Lowton, Kevin Long, Ashley Westwood and Sam Vokes.

City, despite the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, had no shortage of big hitters in their side, despite Guardiola’s protestations at their Christmas holiday workload.

And inevitably the league leaders started on the front foot with Sane and Aguero threatening to pick holes in the Clarets’ back line.

But Burnley stood firm and as they began to press and force errors at the other end, the tide began to turn,

Barnes - invariably coming in dangerously from a left-sided role - was only inches away from opening the scoring after 18 minutes when he failed to get a touch on a towering header back across goal from ex-City youngster Ben Mee following a Johann Berg Gudmundsson corner.

But the in-form striker made no mistake with a thunderous finish to put the Clarets 1-0 up just seven minutes later with his fourth goal of the season.

John Stones’ mis-kick from a Vokes’ flick-on left Barnes in the clear and after racing into the penalty area he lashed a right-footed shot past Claudio Bravo’s left hand to spark great scenes of celebration among the 7,600 Burnley fans packed into the top two tiers of the south stand.

Despite their wealth of possession City were denied any clear sighters of goal as the Clarets defended with great discipline.

And with the ever-present Jack Cork and Westwood, starting his third cup tie of the campaign, working tigerishly in front of them there were openings for the Clarets on the break.

Five minutes into the second half Barnes sent an effort over the top but in the blink of an eye the tie was ripped from the Clarets’ grasp with two goals in as many minutes from Aguero.

City’s record scorer was the scourge of the Clarets last season with three of the four goals that secured a Premier League double and the Argentina international did it again.

His first will have infuriated the Clarets as they were caught out by a quick free-kick referee Graham Scott allowed Ilkay Gundogan to take.

Aguero raced unchecked into the penalty area to slot the ball past Nick Pope and the same combination then opened up the visitors’ defence again with a one-two completed by Gundogan’s back-heel allowing Aguero to go around Pope and roll in his 18th goal of the season.

It could have been three moments later when Sane missed from close range after Pope had saved from Danilo.

But any hopes the Clarets had of making him pay with a late fightback were dashed when the Germany made international made amends by making it 3-1 with 20 minutes to go.

This time David Silva was the architect with a perfectly weighted through-ball for Sane to take a touch and then steer a low shot into the far corner.

City had the luxury of bringing on De Bruyne for the final quarter of an hour and he immediately made his mark as City then added a fourth with eight minutes to go.

De Bruyne’s pass released Sane and with Pope chasing a lost cause, the winger squared the ball for substitute Bernardo Silva to fire home with his first touch after coming off the bench to keep City on course for a possible league and cup four-timer.

Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Long, Mee, Taylor, Gudmundsson (Walters 75), Cork (Wells 68), Westwood, Barnes, Hendrick, Vokes. Substitutes: Lindegaard, Marney, Defour, Ulvestad, Bardsley.

Booked: Westwood, Cork

Manchester City: Bravo, Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko (Walker 72), Fernandinho, Gundogan (De Bruyne 75), Sane, D Silva, Sterling, Aguero (B Silva 79). Substitutes: Moraes, Walker, Mangala, Toure, Diaz.

Booked: Danilo

Referee: Graham Scott

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