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PREVIEW: Manchester City v Burnley

The Clarets are up for the Cup as they try to end City dreams

26 January 2019

The Clarets couldn’t have asked for a tougher fourth-round tie in the FA Cup as they head to the Etihad Stadium to take on tournament favourites Manchester City.

City boss Pep Guardiola has talked down the possibility of pulling off an unprecedented quadruple of both domestic cups, the Premier League and the Champions League.

But until someone knocks them out of one of the cup competitions – or they fail to overhaul Liverpool at the top of the Premier League – it remains a possibility.

The Clarets will therefore have to do what only four sides have done so far this season if they are to keep their own cup run going, namely beat City.

It’s a big ask for a Burnley side whose priority has to lie with the Premier League as they look to pull clear of the bottom three.

But Sean Dyche’s men have asked questions of City before – holding them to a draw at Turf Moor last season and competing well at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League in October before a controversial refereeing decision helped deliver City’s second goal and knock Burnley out of their stride.

The Clarets to go to City with momentum behind them, but Dyche also knows they will have to be at their very best to have a chance of reaching the last 16.

The Burnley boss said: “You’ve got to perform, to keep their chances to a minimum. They’re likely to create chances because even against some really tough sides they’ve managed to create chances.

“Most people go for the fact that they have real quality, which they do, lots of it and depth with it. But I like the way they work off the ball, the way they work to get the ball back, and equally, I like their focus and attention.

“They stay locked onto the game, they are ready to react to everything so we’ve got to at least be that and be ready for what comes.

 “You’ve got to play well, key players have got to play well; and you need a decision. Now and again you need a decision to go your way in these games, we’ve not always had that.”

Team news

The Clarets are likely to make a number of changes with back-to-back Premier League games against Manchester United and Southampton to follow during the next week.

And boss Sean Dyche will also take the opportunity to give game-time to players short of recent senior action. 

Nick Pope is likely to return in goal, but Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Matt Lowton are set to miss out and Phil Bardsley is a doubt.

Robbie Brady returns from a three-match ban and looks a likely starter. 

Pep Guardiola plans to select a strong side as he aims to keep Manchester City firing on all fronts.

The City boss blooded a few youngsters in their mid-week Carabao Cup win over Burton but intends to go with senior men against the Clarets.

Benjamin Mendy is likely to get more game time following his return from long-term injury against the Brewers.

But captain Vincent Kompany and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo are out. 

Form Guide

The Clarets go to City in fine fettle thanks to an unbeaten five-match run as they look to reach round five of the FA Cup for just the second time in eight seasons.

That run includes a 1-0 victory over Barnsley in round three when a late Chris Wood penalty took Burnley through.

City have won their last seven games in all competitions to get back within four points of leaders Liverpool at the top of the Premier League and reach the final of the Carabao Cup.

The 2011 FA Cup winners beat Rotherham 7-0 in round three and have only failed to get past round four once in the past six years.

However, Pep Guardiola’s side was a victim of a shock last season as they went out to Wigan in round five.

Match stats

The sides have met four times in the FA Cup, with the Clarets winning the first tie but losing the subsequent three – including a 4-1 third-round defeat last season.

Opposition Camp

City manager Pep Guardiola: “They [Burnley] are going to try and play. What they did last season, finishing seventh in the league is an incredible achievement.

"They started, maybe because of the Europa League, not so well but they’re on a five-game run.

“I have a lot of respect for what they have done and what they try to do.

"There will be no players from the academy. We always try to play with a strong team.

"It’s the FA Cup against a Premier League side like Burnley, so we’re going to play with the best team we believe to win the game."

Referee

Graham Scott is again in charge after also refereeing the third-round clash between the teams last season.

Kick-off

Saturday, 3pm


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