Vincent Kompany returns to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, as his Burnley side face Manchester City in the FA Cup.
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Manchester City made a mockery of predictions that they might be in for a tough night on Tuesday.
A 1-1 draw with RB Leipzig in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie left Pep Guardiola’s side with work to do ahead of the return fixture at the Etihad Stadium.
Leipzig’s counter-attacking prowess meant they were expected to cause City problems, even though the Premier League champions were strong favourites to advance.
As it turned out, City had nothing to worry about. They produced one of their best performances of the campaign, crushing Leipzig 7-0 to book their place in the quarter-finals.
Guardiola has still not won the Champions League during his time in Manchester, so lifting that trophy is probably his priority this term.
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But City are also involved in the Premier League title race, and they are one win away from reaching the last four of the FA Cup.
Burnley are enjoying a superb season and they will almost certainly be back at the Etihad for a league game in 2023/24.
They are full of confidence on account of their dominance of the Championship and they should have their moments on Saturday.
Avoiding defeat will be difficult, but this may well be an entertaining encounter.
Manchester United can continue their fantastic recent form by beating West Ham at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Burnley are on course to go down as one of the greatest Championship teams of all time.
After a 3-1 victory over Hull City on Wednesday night, Vincent Kompany’s team moved onto 83 points for the season.
If they maintain their current rate of 2.24 points per game until the end of the campaign, Burnley would finish on 103. That would put them just three behind the all-time record set by Reading in 2005/06.
Kompany has done a magnificent job since taking charge last summer.
Many Burnley fans anticipated this being a season of transition for the club, which embarked on a squad overhaul as they prepared for a drastic change in style from the Sean Dyche days.
Kompany has not only got Burnley playing attractive football that is easy on the eye. He has married that style with results, with the Clarets currently 19 points clear of third-placed Middlesbrough.
Burnley are the highest scorers in the division with 74 goals in 37 matches. They have drawn a blank only twice and are on a 17-game unbeaten run in the league.
The Clarets will have much less possession than normal on Saturday, but they have the attacking talent to cause City one or two difficulties, especially if Guardiola opts to make one or two changes at the back.
Manchester City had to grind out a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace in their last domestic encounter.
An Erling Haaland penalty settled a tight game at Selhurst Park, although City would have triumphed by a wider margin had they been less profligate in and around the penalty area.
Guardiola’s side were back to their dazzling best a few days later, as Leipzig were blown away in Manchester.
Haaland’s five-goal haul meant he was the star of the show, but it was a fantastic all-round attacking display from City.
They have now scored 70 times in 21 home games in all competitions, which works out as an average of 3.33 goals per match.
Kompany will not abandon their principles on Saturday, so we should not expect the away team to pack 10 men behind the ball and simply hope for the best.
On this occasion, though, Burnley’s style could work against them. City routinely make light work of opposing teams that open up at the Etihad.
Even though his side do not have another game until after the international break, Guardiola will be keen to get this tie done and dusted within 90 minutes.
That means City will look to make a quick start, which should contribute to what promises to be an entertaining match.
Phil Foden was left out of the XI for the demolition of Leipzig, although he did enter the fray as a second-half substitute.
The England international is likely to return to the side for the visit of Burnley. Foden has been in excellent form in recent weeks having shaken off the ill effects of a persistent ankle injury.
Foden may have begun the Leipzig match on the bench because Guardiola wanted more control. Against Burnley, though, his hustle and bustle could be a major asset.
Although he has been in and out of the side this season, only the incredible Haaland has scored more goals for City than Foden.
The 22-year-old has found the back of the net 13 times in total, including on three occasions in the FA Cup – more than any of his team-mates.
With four goals in his last five outings, Foden looks like an astute pick to add to his tally for the season on Saturday.
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