Pep Guardiola will renew his old acquaintance with Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany, who brings his Burnley team to the Etihad.
A midweek demolition job on RB Leipzig will have Manchester City brimming with confidence ahead of their FA Cup action with Burnley. Pep Guardiola would feel this is the exact form he expected from his side ahead of the late-season run-in, with plenty still at stake.
Guardiola’s men are on course to win a possible treble. They will aim to chase down Arsenal in the league, win the FA Cup and try their luck with the UEFA Champions League again this season. The game against Leipzig showed Manchester City might have hit the kind of ruthless form needed to become the improbable treble winners.
Erling Haaland was the star of the show in midweek, hitting five goals against Leipzig. Manchester City will now face Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the tournament. But before that, they have to pass the test against Burnley at the Etihad.
Burnley manager Vincent Kompany will come back to familiar territory at the Etihad. The Belgian spent most of his career here at the club, winning multiple trophies. He will see this not as a reunion but a big test of sorts for his side vying for a quick return to the Premier League.
After years under Sean Dyche, Burnley forged the reputation for a battle-hard, defensive unit of a team. Kompany’s arrival has surprised many. He has transformed the Clarets into a free-flowing attack-minded side this season.
The Manchester City clash will come as a massive test by Kompany to see where they stand against the best Premier League side possible. It may also be his first-ever meeting against Guardiola as manager, and he will hope to get the better of the Catalan.
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Pep Guardiola can afford to put a strong lineup to face Burnley with the international break on the horizon. The Manchester City boss could use some of his regulars and players like Cole Palmer, Rico Lewis and Kalvin Phillips in the setup.
Back to business! 👊 pic.twitter.com/2fbrGxN1j8
— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 15, 2023
Stefan Ortega will start in goal ahead of Ederson Moraes, with Lewis at right-back. Guardiola could go with Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake in central defence, with Sergio Gomez likely to start at left-back. Phillips’s presence in central midfield could allow Rodri a bit of a rest, but he will be an option for the bench.
Bernardo Silva and Gundogan could partner with Phillips in the midfield three. Guardiola has many options to choose from in his attacking setup and a key decision with Haaland, who is in such hot scoring form.
The Norwegian will likely become an option from the bench. Riyad Mahrez will start on the right wing, with Foden likely to replace Jack Grealish. Fresh from signing a new contract, Julian Alvarez will be rewarded with a top place to lead the line.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ortega; Lewis, Dias, Ake, Gomez; Silva, Phillips, Gundogan; Mahrez, Alvarez, Foden
Compared to Manchester City, Burnley have many players out of contention for the clash or major doubts. Taylor Harwood-Bellis is out, along with Josh Brownhill and Darko Churlinov. Benson Manuel and Jay Rodriguez are doubts.
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) March 16, 2023
Arijanet Muric will remain between the posts, with a back four of Connor Roberts, Hjalmar Ekdal, Jordan Beyer and Charlie Taylor starting in front of him. Josh Cullen and Jack Cork are the preferred central midfield partners.
Kompany will likely maintain his side’s attacking setup and look for his team to get on the ball more despite playing a superior team like Manchester City. Johann Gudmundsson will play in the attacking midfield role, as he has become Burnley’s chief creator this term.
Anass Zaroury could play on the left-hand side of the attack, with Nathan Tella, the preferred man, on the right-hand side of the attack. Ashley Barnes will lead the line for Burnley.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Muric; Roberts, Ekdal, Beyer, Taylor; Cullen, Cork; Tella, Gudmundsson, Zaroury; Barnes
- Manchester City have won their last ten matches against Burnley in all competitions.
- Manchester City have been winning at both half-time and full-time in their last seven matches against Burnley in all competitions.
- Manchester City have scored at least two goals in their last 11 home matches against Burnley in all competitions.
- Burnley are unbeaten in 17 games in the Championship.
- Burnley have lost only three times away from home in all competitions this season.
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💙@julianalvarezzz! ✨ pic.twitter.com/I5iTNYxNqB
— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 16, 2023
The Argentine World Cup winner enters an interesting sphere with his Manchester City career. The forward signed a new deal in recognition of his rise at the club. And now it is time to show his superior quality on the pitch. Believe it or not, Alvarez was an important addition and possible replacement for one of the two key forwards that departed in the summer.
Moreover, Manchester City are still in the chase for the treble. On Saturday, Alvarez and the club can stamp their authority in the FA Cup and go deep to win it. Alvarez will likely start, and he needs to show Guardiola the reliability needed from a second-choice striker.
Manchester City 2-1 Burnley
Burnley are no Leipzig, but they remain an interesting opponent, even for Manchester City. Vincent Kompany has transformed their image and the way they play football, and the manager would want to see some of it against the best opponent possible.
Pep Guardiola, eager to succeed across all competitions, will compete thoroughly and possibly get the win that takes them through. Burnley could come here, put the Cityzens to the test, and even score a goal. Yet, Manchester City are the clear favourite in this clash.
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