Burnley top of the Championship
City on a high after beating Leipzig 7-0
Manchester City v Burnley
Saturday 18 March, 17:45
Live on BBC One
City sent message with Leipzig demolition
Manchester City bludgeoned their way into the quarter-finals of the Champions League in midweek, as they hammered RB Leipzig 7-0 to win 8-1 on aggregate. Erling Haaland scored five of those goals, and now has more Champions League goals in his career than Wayne Rooney, Kaka and Arjen Robben.
The Norwegian is still just 22, and if he carries on at this rate he is well capable of overhauling the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at the top of the competition's all-time list.
City deserved their success in midweek. They were aggressive from the outset, smothering Leipzig with their press, and a stellar performance from a fired-up Kevin de Bruyne truly caught the eye.
However, it wasn't an entirely flawless display - City gave the ball away far too cheaply at times in the first half when they were only 2-0 up, and a less jittery side than Leipzig might have punished them for that sloppiness.
Pep Guardiola's side is still in the mix for the Premier League title, although an Arsenal win on Sunday will put them eight points clear of the reigning champions at the top of the table.
Any sense that City won't take the FA Cup seriously seems misguided when you look at Guardiola's history in domestic competitions in England.
Since taking charge of City, Guardiola has won an FA Cup (in 2019) and four League Cups. When he was at Bayern, he lifted the DFB Pokal in two of his three seasons in charge, and he also won two Copa del Reys with Barcelona.
Of course, it helps to have an incredible squad at your disposal, and the Catalan coach certainly has one of those at Manchester City. Julian Alvarez, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden could all return to the starting XI, while Guardiola favourite Rico Lewis may get a start at right-back.
Kompany returns to scene of triumph
He may best be remembered for a stunning long-range effort against Leicester City that helped power Manchester City to yet another title, but that is merely a page of Vincent Kompany's incredible success story at the Etihad Stadium.
The Belgian won four Premier League titles - the first in 2012 and the last in 2019 - as well as two FA Cups and four League Cups. Across his first seven seasons as a City player, he never made fewer than 25 league appearances, and while his numbers dwindled in the latter part of his time in Manchester, his influence as a leader did not.
Now the former centre-back is back in the north-west of England as a coach, and he has led Burnley to top spot in the Championship, playing attractive and consistent football.
The Clarets are the league's top scorers with 74 goals, and their tally of 29 goals conceded is the lowest in the division.
Remarkably for such a competitive division, Burnley have lost just two of their 37 Championship matches.
Former Southampton player Nathan Tella has been a standout performer in attacking areas, with 17 goals and three assists. Veteran striker Jay Rodriguez has chipped in with nine league goals, Josh Brownhill has been excellent in midfield, while defenders like Jordan Beyer, Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Ian Maatsen have caught the eye.
However, Harwood-Bellis (who is on loan from Manchester City) and Brownhill are expected to miss the game with injury.
Alvarez can lead City charge
It remains to be seen how strong a side City will select here, but it would be a surprise not to see the excellent World Cup winner Julian Alvarez start. The Argentinean is evens to score at any time, and although he has only scored in three of 13 games since the World Cup, he doesn't always start.
City are of little interest in the Match Odds market at 1.211/5, but we can back them on the Bet Builder to win by two goals or more, Riyad Mahrez to have a shot on target and Alvarez to have at least two shots at 2.0421/20.
Alvarez has had at least two shots in his last six appearances that have lasted at least half an hour, while Mahrez averages 0.76 shots on target per 90 in the Premier League, and has scored in five of his last 13 competitive appearances.
Burnley are an excellent side, but they are still in the Championship, and this is a big leap in the quality of opposition.