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Pep Guardiola will be ready to welcome us to the Etihad Stadium tomorrow for the eighth time since he replaced Manuel Pellegrini as Manchester City boss in the summer of 2016.

I think it’s fair to say he’s had the better of things during that time against us. In those seven games so far, five in the league and two in the FA Cup, they have won all of them and scored goals aplenty in doing so.

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Yet, he had nothing but praise for us when he spoke ahead of tomorrow’s game and was aware of us providing them with a tough game. “I can assure you, Burnley was in this position many times and always survive,“ he said. “Why? Because they never give up. That’s why Sean Dyche is an excellent manager.

“He plays in a certain way and is a machine in how he does it. I am a big fan. He sticks to his principles. That’s why they stay up a long time and he gets a new contract I think three or four more years. They never give up.

“They go to Anfield and are able to win, Emirates and are able to win. They have heart, passion and character that I’m sure Sean and the staff bring to the players. This is most important. Some teams start to go down, they go definitely down. They don’t, they stay and fight.”

He added: “Maybe we had good results against them because I was careful. I pay a lot of attention to their skills. This is the message I give to the players today and hopefully they understand for tomorrow.”

Speaking about the enormity of the task facing us, Sean Dyche admitted: “They are a top side and there is no two ways about that. They have spent money wisely in my opinion, have a top manager and are moulded into a great unit. But we have beaten them, we have drawn against them before, we won at Liverpool and Arsenal last year, it can be difficult against the top sides.

“It is a cause for reality not concern, the Premier League is tough, the demands and expectations on yourself remain high. Generally we are playing well but need to tidy up the details. It is peculiar when people write you off, because you don’t lessen your demand on the group, but outsiders do. It is something that comes round your way when you’re Burnley.

“I don’t think people do it disrespectfully but now and again you can get the outcome that surprises them. We have done that quite a few times in our time at Burnley and are looking forward to taking the game on.”

He’ll have to do so without his captain, but he’ll place his faith in Nathan Collins as he did for the last game against Norwich. “Nathan played the last game and we thought he did a good job for us. It will be another obvious chance for him to play,” Dyche said.

“We kept that end of the pitch closed well against Norwich I thought. His manner around the training ground, and professionalism, is excellent. He is delivering in training and has a real intent to learn. “If he plays on Saturday of course it will be tough, but that is how you learn, by playing against the best. He has made a decent start in the cup games and played well I thought against Norwich, alongside Tarky who was outstanding that day.”

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