After easing past Burton Albion in midweek, City are back in action in the FA cup this weekend against Sean Dyche’s Burnley.
After a poor start to their league campaign, Burnley have started to turn their form around recently, with 4 wins out of 5 in all competitions, including their 1-0 win over Barnsley in the previous round. With the visitors hitting their stride, it could make for a difficult afternoon, should Burnley show the mental resilience they are renowned for.
With Guardiola stating in his pre-match press conference that no academy players will be involved, and after many first team players being rested for the trip to Burton, the line up should be a strong one. You can read our predicted team here.
This game could come at an important time for both Nicolás Otamendi & Riyad Mahrez. Rumours have been circulating around the club that both players are unhappy with the playing time they are currently getting at the club, so a game against Burnley could give them the platform to show why they should be starting on a more regular basis.
Often the talk is that the FA cup has been devalued, or managers don’t take it seriously, but that does not seem the case at City. With Pep seemingly not wanting to let off in pursuit of all 4 trophies this season, you can see how much the competition means to him. With the embarrassing defeat last season at the hands of Wigan, Pep evidently wants to make sure there are no such slip ups this season, putting out a strong lineup against Championship side Rotherham United in the last round.
Sean Dyche seems happy to make changes for this one, stating Nick Pope will be given the nod in goal for this game. Burnley’s goalkeeping situation has been an interesting tale as the season has gone on, with Joe Hart starting to hit form before the re-amergence of club captain Tom Heaton, who had been out with a dislocated shoulder for months.
Burnley should approach this game in the same fashion as always. Whilst they do not play the free-flowing, attacking football of City, they have a knack for picking up results. You can expect to see Burnley giving up possession on a regular basis, with them relying on their defensive nous to keep City’s attackers at bay. However, an early goal or two from City could kill this game before it’s even got started. City won 5-0 earlier on this season at home to Burnley, and you could expect to see the same scoreline if the players are on it.
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