Manchester City will welcome fellow Premier League side Burnley to the Etihad Stadium, for their fourth round FA Cup fixture on Saturday.
After securing their progression to the finals of the Carabao Cup in tremendous fashion, Premier League champions Manchester City will now shift their focus towards the FA Cup, as they host Burnley in the fourth round of the competition this weekend.
Pep Guardiola’s side defeated lower league opposition Burton Albion in an emphatic manner (10-0 on aggregate), to make it to the finals of the Carabao Cup. They will be keen on advancing in the other domestic cup competition as well and remain in contention for four trophies this season.
The Cityzens hammered EFL Championship outfit Rotherham United 7-0 in the previous round of the FA Cup earlier this month and are currently on a seven-match winning run that has seen them score 28 goals, while conceding just twice. And, Guardiola will be hoping that his side continue in the same vein of form on Saturday.
Burnley also come into the weekend game on the back of an impressive run of results that has seen them go unbeaten in their last five matches across all competitions, with four wins and a draw. The Clarets defeated lower league side Barnsley 1-0 in the previous round, while their latest fixture against Watford ended in a goalless draw.
Sean Dyche’s men have already played Manchester City in the Premier League back in October, when they were thrashed 5-0 by the champions. They will be intent on avoiding a similar outcome this time out.
Team News & Tactics
Club captain Vincent Kompany has been ruled out of the game by Guardiola. Backup goalkeeper Claudio Bravo also remains sidelined for the home team, who have been boosted by the return of Benjamin Mendy, with the Frenchman getting some minutes under his belt in the 1-0 win against Burton earlier this week.
Having named a number of reserve players in the squad for the previous game, Guardiola has said he will field a full-strength squad against the Clarets this weekend. First-choice goalkeeper Ederson Moraes is expected to come into the team, replacing Arijanet Muric who started against Burton.
There will be a number of changes in defence as well, with Kyle Walker set to start at right-back in place of Danilo, while John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi could feature at the heart of the defence, replacing Philippe Sandler and Eric Garcia, who featured earlier this week. Oleksandr Zinchenko should, however, hold on to his spot ahead of Mendy at left-back.
Ilkay Gundogan is expected feature from the kick off in the middle of the park, having not been involved against Burton. David Silva too is likely to be recalled into the starting XI, while young Phil Foden should be retained as the third midfielder.
The entire attacking trident is in for a makeover with Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane set to start in place of Riyad Mahrez, Sergio Aguero and Ian Poveda.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko; Foden, Gundogan, Silva; Sterling, Jesus, Sane
Unlike Manchester City, Burnley boss Dyche has hinted that he will be looking to rotate his squad and give his regulars a breather, with a number of important fixtures in the Premier League lined up ahead as they look to steer clear of the relegation battle.
The Clarets have been boosted by the return to fitness of winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson, while Robbie Brady is also available after serving out his suspension. But right-backs Matthew Lowton and Phil Bardsley are both major doubts for the game.
Former Manchester City No. 1 Joe Hart is unlikely to feature, with Nick Pope set to get the nod between the sticks for Burnley. Wholesale changes will be made to the backline with Kevin Long, Ben Gibson and Stephen Ward all set to start against the Premier League champions, while James Tarkowski is set to be deputise at right-back.
Dwight McNeil, who has been Burnley’s in-form player recently, is expected to start on the right flank, while Brady is set to come into the team on the left wing. Belgian midfielder Steven Defour should start in the middle of the park and is likely to be partnered with Jack Cork.
Summer signing Matej Vydra is set to be teamed up with Sam Vokes in attack, with Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes dropping out to the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Pope; Tarkowski, Long, Gibson, Ward; McNeil, Defour, Cork, Brady; Vydra, Vokes
- Manchester City faced Burnley in last season’s FA Cup as well, winning 4-1 at the Etihad in the third round.
- Burnley have been eliminated from the FA Cup on three occasions by Manchester City (1932-33, 1990-91, 2017-18), last beating them in the competition in January 1931.
- The Cityzens have lost just one of their last 20 matches against Burnley in all competitions (W13 D6), losing 0-1 in the Premier League in March 2015.
- Burnley are winless in 13 away FA Cup games against Premier League sides (D3 L10) since a 1-0 win at Derby County in December 1999.
- Manchester City have won their three home FA Cup matches under Pep Guardiola by an aggregate score of 16-2.
Player to Watch
The 24-year-old England international has been in the form of his life this season and has been one of City’s best players so far. In 29 matches across all competitions, Sterling has scored and assisted 12 goals apiece, including a goal and an assist in City’s 7-0 hammering of Rotherham in the previous round.
Sterling has been involved in at least one goal in nine of his last 10 FA Cup starts (4 goals, 7 assists), with the only game he failed to score or assist coming against Burnley last season. He will be looking to put in another strong performance on Saturday and help his team progress further in the competition.
Manchester City 4-0 Burnley
Manchester City, since the back-to-back defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City towards the end of 2018, have been in rampant form. With seven wins in seven games, Pep Guardiola’s side have been easing past opponents, scoring goals for fun, while hardly letting in any themselves.
Burnley too are in a good vein of form following a poor start to the campaign with four wins and one defeat in their last six matches. However, they were beaten 5-0 by the Cityzens earlier this season in the Premier League and with Sean Dyche likely to rest some of his regulars, a similar scoreline could be on the cards on Saturday.