Date: 4th January 2018 at 9:49pm
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Pep and his squad face off against Burnley in the 3rd round of the FA Cup this weekend with Sean Dyche and his players eager to bloody the nose of the league leaders and avenge the 3-0 defeat they suffered at the Etihad back in October.

Overall record – City p96 W43 D24 L29

Burnley – a club with history.

Proud founder members of the Football League, Burnley Football Club began life as a rugby club. However, ‘Burnley Rovers’ soon switched codes and became Burnley Football Club in 1882. They moved to their Turf Moor home shortly afterwards, at the invitation of the town’s cricket club, which is still uniquely situated next to the stadium. The first honour was a Second Division title in 1897-98 and the club’s improved fortunes were finally reflected in an FA Cup triumph in 1914, with a 1-0 win against Liverpool coming just months before the outbreak of the Great War.

Following the War, the Clarets continued to make their mark on the domestic game and in the 1920-21 season the team enjoyed a remarkable unbeaten run of 30 league matches as they led the club to an inaugural First Division title, having been runners-up the previous season.
That magnificent league record stood for over 80 years, until being battered by Arsenal in the 2003/04 season. 

During the late 1950’s and early 1960’s the claret and blue of Burnley had become the most feared colours in the domestic game and, following several near misses, the First Division title again came the club’s way on the very last day of the 1959-1960 season at Manchester City.

The club endured numerous promotions and relegations in the following decades and avoided dropping out of the Football League altogether on the last day of the 1986/87 season when they defeated Leyton Orient 2-1 at Turf Moor. The 1990s saw an up turn in Burnley`s fortunes and then a return to the top flight of English football in 2009 when they defeated Sheffield United in the Play-Off final. After a brief return to the Championship and the installation of Sean Dyche as manager in October 2012 Burnley were promoted to the Premier League in 2016 as champions.

Famous Burnley players –

Jimmy Adamson
Jimmy McIlroy
Tommy Boyle
George Halley
Harry Potts

Celebrity Burnley fans –

John Kettley – TV weather presenter
Alistair Campbell – Journalist/broadcaster, Labour ‘spin doctor`
James Anderson – English cricketer
Prince Charles – heir to the British Crown
Tony Livesey – BBC Radio 5Live presenter


Rotation will be the name of the game for Pep Guardiola. He will be seeking to deal with the effects of injuries courtesy of the leniency of officials shown towards City`s opponents in recent weeks whilst minimising the effects of fatigue on his senior players as they gear up for the return of the Champions League next month.

Pep will surely look to the EDS and a mixture of the old and the new senior players as he seeks success in the first to two cup ties the team face this week.

I anticipate cries of “Disrespecting the Cup” to ring loud and clear should Pep give starts to Adarabioyo, Zinchenko and Brahim Diaz as well as further opportunities to some of those who turned out against Leicester in the quarter final of the League Cup last month. Tom Dele-Bashiru, Lukas Nmecha, Demeaco Duheney may well feature alongside the vastly experienced Yaya Toure holding things together in the midfield with Claudio Bravo in goal. The fact that Tosin, Oleksandr and Brahim are all members of the senior squad will probably pass by those making most noise in the media. Strange isn`t it? The rags drop in young wunderkind Rashnaldo into their team and are hailed as ‘developing the future of English football`, the City manager will offer chances to young players and get taken out at the knees. Just ask Manuel Pellegrini.

Oh well. You can`t win them all despite trying and try Pep will as he well knows the value of momentum and the benefit that success in a domestic cup can bring. However he also knows that he has other competitions to take his attention and if anyone were to be genuinely honest when they were posed the question – “so how would YOU ranks the Premier League, the Champions League, The FA Cup and the League Cup in order of importance” – they would have to admit that if you seriously had a chance in all four, then the FA Cup would not trump the first two. But we can expect the usual cries of “look at the SIZE of their squad” (despite all PL sides being the same size) and the old faithful fallback “but given the amount of money they`ve spent”?..whilst ignoring the injuries to key members of that same squad and the need to balance your resources across all four competitions.

Sean Dyche is currently the darling of the media with his quips about his son and his gruff northern humour. Salt of the earth. He has done well with his Burnley side belying the claims of many that you have to spend millions to succeed in the Premier League. Their form hasn`t been outstanding of late. Since defeating Stoke in mid-December they had drawn 3 and lost one before they faced free scoring Liverpool on New Year`s Day when they suffered a narrow 1-2 defeat with the deciding goal coming for Liverpool deep into added time.

Man City v Burnley last six all comps – City W4 D1 L1 GF15 GA6

Team News

City will be without G Jesus, Foden and of course Mendy. Kompany may be fit (who knows) but I doubt Pep will risk De Bruyne as he recovers from Puncheon`s assault last weekend. David Silva may also be absent given his domestic situation.

Burnley will be missing Tom Heaton in goal & Robbie Brady. Late fitness tests may determine whether Ward, Tarkowski and Chris Wood are able to feature.

Predicted XI


Danilo, Adarabioyo, Mangala, Zinchenko

Diaz, Toure, Gundogan

B Silva, Aguero, Sane


Ederson, Walker, Kompany, Delph, Dele-Basiru, Nmecha, Sterling

Officials –

Referee – Graham Scott
Assistants – Simon Bennett; Shaun Hudson
Fourth Official – Andy Haines

Burnley will be up for this challenge in a game which has delivered 15 goals in total in the last 5 meetings. City`s 3-0 victory in the league match in October was the first time they had scared more than 2 against Burnley since the 1-6 drubbing meted out at Turf Moor in April 2010. In fact there have been more cards than goals in the last six meetings – with the count being 14 yellows for City vs 11 for the Clarets and City in the shape of Fernandinho earning the only red card.

Who will be ‘Up For the Cup`?

Come On City!!!