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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

Burnley 1 Manchester City 1

Johann Berg Gudmundsson goal caps superb fightback as Clarets hold leaders

3 February 2018

A wonderful late equaliser from Johann Berg Gudmundsson slowed Manchester City’s march to glory as the Clarets showed again they can live the best.

Danilo’s first-half strike had City heading for an 11th away win of a remarkable season that will surely end with them lifting the Premier League title.

But whereas Pep Guardiola’s big-money outfit have swept all before them, Burnley refused to buckle.

And after defending for their lives to stay in the hunt, Sean Dyche’s men mounted a storming late fightback which brought them a top-class strike from Gudmundsson eight minutes from time and a cherished first point at Turf Moor in four games.

City keeper Ederson had previously proved unbeatable but even the Brazilian international had no answer to Gudmundsson’s second goal of the season which means the Clarets have now taken something from each of the top five teams in the table.

Among all the pre-match hype over Guardiola’s call for more protection for his players, it was claret and blue shirts littering the pitch in the opening minutes as Ashley Barnes, Sam Vokes and Phil Bardsley all required treatment.

Physio Ally Beattie was over-worked as he then had to revive goalkeeper Nick Pope after a collision with City captain Vincent Kompany as the visitors probed for the opening goal.

Burnley did a decent job at keeping them at bay with a disciplined defensive effort, while trying to release the pressure the twin outlet of Ashley Barnes and Sam Vokes.

The pair started together for just the second time in the league this season – Jeff Hendrick moving back into central midfield in place of Ashley Westwood – as Dyche went for a positive approach to try and slow City’s romp towards the title, also giving a first start to January signing Aaron Lennon on the left wing.

That also helped to restrict City’s ability to work the ball out from the back at will, although when it clicked, their counter-attacking was of breath-taking quality.

But, as so often is the case against the champions-elect, just when it looked as though all bases are covered, City went in front after 22 minutes.

Danilo wasn’t the obvious threat when Kevin De Bruyne lined up a corner, but when the former Real Madrid full-back was given the ball he was allowed too much time to advance towards the Clarets’ penalty area and bend a vicious strike beyond Pope.

Having dropped points in only three games this season, City rarely relinquish a lead.

But Burnley’s response was superb as they immediately tried to hit back and it was former City youngster Ben Mee who twice went close to levelling.

Mee’s last goal had come at City 13 months ago and he almost repeated the trick with a fine strike after half an hour.

Jack Cork lifted the ball back in after a free-kick had been headed clear and Mee’s left-footed volley was headed for the bottom corner until Ederson made an excellent save.

The Clarets’ skipper then headed just wide following a corner but Burnley made sure they were still in the game at half-time as Pope stood firm to deny de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero – who has had scored in his previous four games against the Clarets – a second City goal just before the break.

With Bardsley struggling to shake off his early knock, Matt Lowton started the second half to make his 50th Premier League appearance for the Clarets.

And Lowton made a vital early contribution as he blocked an effort from Aguero after City’s record goalscorer had danced his way through the Clarets’ defence.

Aguero then created the next chance for Raheem Sterling which the England international lifted over the top and Danilo almost repeated his first-half strike with an effort which Pope touched over the bar at full stretch as City went for the kill.

But while it was still 1-0 the Clarets always had a chance of getting something and after Ilkay Gundogan had been booked for a foul on Lennon, Gudmundsson’s free-kick was only inches away from Vokes and Mee with 25 minutes to go.

And the Clarets then went even closer to an equaliser five minutes later when only another fantastic save from Ederson denied Lennon a dream start to his Turf Moor career.

Gudmundsson, driving Burnley on after being switched to the left flank at the break, created the danger with a run into the box before Jack Cork ferried the ball into the path of Lennon, whose shot from 10 yards was destined for the roof of the net before Ederson stuck out a hand to divert the ball onto the bar and away to safety.

Sterling was then guilty of a remarkable miss at the other end – poking the ball wide from two yards out – as the game became wide open and the Clarets had a real go at saving a point.

Lennon sliced another shot wide but there was a feeling a goal was coming as the Clarets gave everything to earn some reward from their growing pressure.

And when it did arrive with eight minutes to go it was a gem to secure a second successful comeback in the space of four days.

The impressive Lowton had already delivered a couple of inviting crosses as he linked well with Lennon and helped take the fight to City.

And the full-back's latest effort was superbly swung in for Gudmundsson to run onto and drive a perfect first-time finish past Ederson to leave Turf Moor - and the would-be champions - rocking on another red-letter day.

Burnley: Pope, Bardsley (Lowton HT), Long, Mee, Taylor, Gudmundsson, Hendrick, Cork, Lennon, Barnes, Vokes. Substitutes: Lindegaard, Nkoudou, Westwood, Wells, Arfield, O’Neill.

Booked: Long, Cork, Mee, Barnes

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Danilo, Fernandinho, B Silva, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Sterling (Diaz 74), Aguero. Substitutes: Bravo, Laporte, Adarabioyo, Zinchenko, Toure.

Booked: Gundogan

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Attendance: 21,658

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