By 90Min
January 05, 2018

Saturday's match sees two very different styles of play collide for just the second time this season. As possession driven Manchester City host the deep defensive line of Burnley in the FA cup. 

Sean Dyche's Burnley side are in a lofty 7th position in the league - just behind Arsenal - but have hit poor form of late with two losses and three draws in their last five league games; having faced Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham in this period.

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City side have similarly dropped from their own high standards; with an away draw to Crystal Palace haunting their 18 game winning run. However, unlike their opposition for this fixture, City recovered within just 38 seconds after a Raheem Sterling opener helped the game to a comfortable 3-1 conclusion.


Classic Encounter

6th January 1991 was the last time these sides met in the FA Cup, and at exactly the same point in the competition. On that occasion, Manchester City narrowly secured progression to the fourth round with a 1-0 victory over the hosts Burnley.

Scotsman Colin Hendry was the goal scorer, in a 63 game career for Manchester City that saw him add just another four to his total for the club. 


City finished 5th in the First Division that season, while Burnley finished 6th in the Fourth Division. 


Key Battle


Nick Pope vs Manchester City

There’s only two Nick Popes? ... 🙌🎶

A post shared by Burnley Football Club (@burnleyofficial) on


At the moment, Manchester City seem to be an almost unstoppable offensive force. Guardiola's side have score an astonishing 64 goals in just 22 Premier League games this season.

Nick Pope made an incredible seven saves in the previous game against Manchester City's 10 shots on target, holding out for 30 minutes before conceding and a further 43 after that before the game was put to bed. Should Burnley's in-form keeper manage the same kind of performance against a less clinical City side, there remains the potential for a disappointing outcome for the hosts. 

However, that same game saw Burnley fail to record a single shot on target, something that may prove to be their Achilles heel once again.


Team News

Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Manchester City welcomed back John Stones and Fabian Delph in the last game, but are still without Benjamin Mendy and continue to struggle with Vincent Kompany's ongoing absences. 

With a League Cup fixture scheduled for midweek, Pep Guardiola is expected to rotate his squad. Kevin De Bruyne is almost certain to be left out of the squad as a precaution against further damage following a strong challenge the week before. 

Sean Dyche has no such concerns with match scheduling with a week separating this game from the next. He does, however, have a number of injury concerns, with Chris Wood, Stephen Ward, Tom Heaton and Robbie Brady all ruled out for this fixture. While Scott Arfield may make an appearance following his early withdrawal in the last game. 

Potential Manchester City Lineup: Bravo; Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko; Silva, Yaya, Gundogan; Bernando, Aguero, Sterling.

Potential Burnley Lineup: Pope; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Guðmundsson, Defour, Cork, Arfield; Hendrick,


Prediction


Manchester City's relentless storm to the title this season seems to be creating an air of invincibility about this side.

Off the back of a tightly packed winter schedule it could be that City's greater squad depth is what gives them the advantage over Burnley in this fixture, as Guardiola - unlike his opposite number - has the ability to rotate almost his entire squad between games. 

Nothing is ever certain in the FA Cup and complacency may play a part in the outcome; however, if ever a team looked intent on sweeping the domestic trophy haul, this is it. 

Prediction: Manchester City 2-0 Burnley

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