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Manchester City vs Burnley

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BURNLEY are now in much better form than when they were drubbed at the Etihad Stadium in October, and that could save them from another heavy beating.

The Clarets’ 5-0 loss triggered a run of nine defeats in 11 games and followed their 4-1 reverse at the same venue in last season’s FA Cup third round.

But a significant improvement could be on the cards for Sean Dyche’s team this time because since the Christmas festivities were over they have enjoyed a considerable upturn in fortunes, winning four games in a row before last weekend’s creditable 0-0 draw at Watford.

They are now looking much more like the team that finished seventh in the Premier League last season and qualified for Europe.

Dyche probably hoped City’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Burton Albion would have had more hinging on Wednesday’s second leg rather than being a complete formality with the English champions 9-0 up on aggregate going into that game, which meant Pep Guardiola could prioritise the Burnley game in terms of utilising his squad.

Given how close City are to League Cup glory again, the FA Cup may be No 4 on their list of targets and that could give Burnley a slight chance – at least of avoiding another thumping.

*This is the fifth FA Cup match between these clubs, Manchester City having won three of the previous four and Burnley the other

*The only previous time Manchester City have hosted Burnley in the FA Cup was their 4-1 third-round victory last season

*City are unbeaten in their last 17 home matches against Burnley, suffering their most recent defeat in 1963

Prediction: Manchester City to Win & Over 1.5 match goals

 

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