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Burnley v Lincoln: Fortress Turf Moor should be end of the road for plucky Imps

Dyche's men have a formidable home record
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While a trip to Sean Dyche's Burnley on Saturday should prove too much for the FA Cup's surprise package, Evan Bartlett believes the Imps can still get on the scoresheet against their Premier League opponents...


"Lincoln have hardly been kept goalless all season, scoring 61 in their 30 league games to date... it would be no surprise to see the Imps get on the scoresheet before eventually being outclassed by their Premier League opponents."

Burnley v Lincoln City
Saturday 18 January, 12.30
Live on BT Sport 2


Burnley

Burnley have a tremendous record at home this season and were unlucky to be left with just a point against Premier League leaders Chelsea last Sunday.

Speaking after that game, Blues boss Antonio Conte praised the Clarets for their work ethic and explained that there are three factors that make Turf Moor such a difficult place to visit.

The small playing area, the direct approach perfected by Sean Dyche and the vocal support from Burnley's 23,000-strong crowd.

Indeed, it's not just Chelsea who have struggled there this season. Burnley have amassed an impressive 29 points from their 14 home games in the league this season and have lost just three of their last 29 competitive matches at Turf Moor.

Burnley haven't been through to the sixth round of the FA Cup since 2002/03, losing at this stage four times since, but look in good shape to do so this season.

The Clarets beat Sunderland 2-0 in a third round replay after holding the Black Cats to a goalless draw at the Stadium of Light and then defeated Bristol City by the same two goal scoreline at Turf Moor in the last round.


Lincoln City

Lincoln City have been one of the surprise packages of this season's FA Cup, reaching the fifth round for the first time since 1886/87.

The Imps have already seen off league opposition in Oldham Athletic, Ipswich Town and Championship high-fliers Brighton and - currently sat top of the National League - look destined for league football next season.

Lincoln may be the second-lowest ranked team left in the competition, but Burnley will be by no means underestimating them.

Danny Cowley's side have won seven of their last eight games in all competitions, including each of the last four.

Losing their FA Cup top scorer Theo Robinson on deadline day to Southend United was a blow, however. The striker scored two goals in their away draw with Ipswich Town and again in the 3-1 win over Brighton, taking his tally in this season's competition to five.

The Imps faithful will be hoping top scorer Matt Rhead and wide man Nathan Arnold - who scored a last minute winner against Ipswich Town on that emotional replay night at Sincil Bank following former manager Graham Taylor's passing - can carry on where Robinson left off.


Match Odds

With Burnley's Premier League safety all but confirmed - they sit in 12th place, 10 points clear of relegation - we should expect Dyche to field a strong side here.

The Clarets have a real chance to do something in the FA Cup and a few punters might even be tempted to back them as outsiders to go on and win the competition at odds of [27.0].

If this game was being played at Sincil Bank, there would certainly be a different feel about it, but at fortress Turf Moor it's perhaps no surprise to see the home side come in as overwhelming favourites at [1.34].

The Imps have already played 40 games this season - including 10 cup ties thanks to their runs in this competition and the FA Trophy - compared to Burnley's 29. While this game is undoubtedly huge for Lincoln, they may still have one eye on securing league football for next season and all those extra minutes may be felt in the legs as this game goes on against one of the Premier League's most hardworking sides.

The Imps come into this as big outsiders at [12.0] with the draw at [5.8] and those odds seem about right to me so I'll be avoiding a bet on this market.


Both Teams to Score

One market that has caught my eye however is Both Teams to Score. Lincoln have hardly been kept goalless all season, scoring 61 in their 30 league games to date. They also have goals from all over the pitch - of the 17 Imps players to have hit the back of the net this season, six have five or more.

In fact, the only game in their last 22 in which they have failed to score was in the uncharacteristic 3-0 defeat to Barrow which came four days before they beat Brighton - no doubt where their concentration was that day.

Burnley have conceded 36 goals in their 25 league games this season and while that record is stronger at Turf Moor - 12 in 14 - it would be no surprise to see the Imps get on the scoresheet before eventually being outclassed by their Premier League opponents. Get on Both Teams to Score at [2.2], or Both Teams to Score and Burnley to win at around [3.1] over on the Sportsbook.


Ref watch

The man in the middle for this one will be Graham Scott, who has dished out 69 yellows and three reds in his 20 games this season.

The 48-year-old is part of the Select Group of Referees - the highest in England - and made his Premier League officiating debut in Burnley's 1-1 draw with Aston Villa in 2014. He also oversaw Burnley's 4-1 win over Sunderland on New Year's Day earlier this season.

The last Lincoln game he was in charge of was their 3-2 win over Walsall in this competition in 2012. The Imps will be hoping he proves a lucky charm once again.


Recommended Bets

Back Both Teams to Score @ 2.2


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