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Window Of Opportunity

Clarets bid to end City's remarkable run with FA Cup shock

6 January 2018

Sean Dyche says no team is unbeatable as the Clarets look to end Manchester City’s remarkable run and pull off an FA Cup shock.

City are yet to taste defeat in domestic football this season and boast a record of just one loss – in a dead Champions League rubber – in their last 37 games.

Pep Guardiola’s side looks certain to win the Premier League and are still on course to match Arsenal’s unbeaten 2003/04 title-winning campaign.

But Dyche will send out his Burnley side to try and be the one that finds a way to hand City a first defeat at the Etihad Stadium since Chelsea won there in December, 2016 and kill off hopes of a historic quadruple.

“All teams are beatable, but with very good reason they are being talked about with this sort of ‘invincibles’ as you call it, because they have a very deep squad, a very good manager and they have some highly talented players,” the Burnley boss told Clarets Player HD.

“They have mainly been connecting that with the Arsenal group of a few years ago.

“I understand why, but equally no-one in football is against getting beaten.

“They might try and be against it, but it just comes your way sometimes.

“I think that’s the window of doubt for them, that every team that comes says ‘why wouldn’t it be us, so let’s go and take the game on?’

“We will certainly have that attitude towards the game, while not being naïve.”

The Clarets will make changes to their starting line-up for Saturday's third-round tie following a hectic festive programme.

City, unbeaten at this stage of the competition since 2012, will also rest a number of players and are without the injured quartet of Vincent Kompany, Gabriel Jesus, Benjamin Mendy and Phil Foden.

But despite the hosts’ strength in depth, Dyche is backing his squad to meet the challenge head-on.

He added: “However many changes they make they are still a very strong unit and we have seen that over the last couple of years.

“It’s not rocket science, if you are spending sort of £150m on full-backs it fair to say you’ve got some quality.

“But I’ve really enjoyed working with this group here this year. I have all of my groups, but this year in particular I think there’s a little bit more depth in it and true competition in our group, so we are in a good place.

“Now it’s ‘let the whistle blow and take the game on’.”

City beat the Clarets 3-0 in October as part of a record-breaking 18-match winning league run, ended at Crystal Palace with a 1-1 draw on the last day of 2017.

But Guardiola has been impressed with what Burnley and Dyche have achieved this season in occupying seventh place in the Premier League.

“What he has done and what they have done is amazing,” said the City boss.

“After the five or six contenders for the Premier League, the next is Burnley.

“It’s a tough draw for us but of course, we want to keep going in that competition as well.”


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