January 21, 2018

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Man City outclass Burnley at the Etihad

09 January 2018

Citizens boss Guardiola goes with Claudio Bravo in goal, while at the back he selects Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones as the central pairing.

The FA Cup is probably the competition that Guardiola could most comfortably give up on. It is a prestigious competition the FA Cup, if you are not strong you can not do that. But after, of course, to give real value to what we have done so far, what we are going to do in the future, you have to lift the titles.

The Spanish global released a statement earlier this week to confirm the reasons why he was spending time in his home country.

Asked if he might field some of his younger players, he said: "No way".

"We've got a lot of respect for them - they have an unbelievable team with an awesome manager - but it's a massive opportunity to make a special moment again".

He said: "All the doctors, the physios, all around the world, say that in 48 hours, the body does not recover to play again, in such a demanding competition like now". It's what it is.

"We think about this every single day and every training session", the Ukrainian said.

Trailing 1-0 at half-time to Sean Dyche's gritty and stubborn side that has conceded on average less than a goal a game in the Premier League, a showpiece FA Cup final next May seemed like the "illusion" Guardiola had described.

"I'm happy he made the statement", said Guardiola. The north London club are 9/2 (5.50) to win this tournament and 10/3 (4.33) to get the better of Chelsea in the first leg of their semi-final at Stamford Bridge.

The favourites have needed a penalty shootout to progress against both Wolves and Leicester City in previous rounds, but their impressive squad and seemingly unstoppable form makes them worthy market principles, albeit not very appealing ones price-wise.

The club continue to be heavily linked with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez, while they are also thought to be keen to bring in another centre-half.

"He is always the kind of player who always wants to play and I can understand sometimes he is sad if he doesn't play".

"If it doesn't happen, we are going to move forward with the players we have".

The Gunners crashed out of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon, a competition that Arsene Wenger's men have dominated in recent years winning three of the last four finals.

"Then it's the realm of the player, it's hard for them".

Man City outclass Burnley at the Etihad