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Revealed: Burnley play secret fixture against Manchester United ahead of Manchester City showdown next week



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Vincent Kompany’s Burnley opted to play a secret friendly against Manchester United in preparation for their Premier League trip to the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City face Burnley in the Premier League next Wednesday, with Pep Guardiola’s side preparing to resume their title bid against a relegation-threatened Clarets side at the Etihad Stadium.

City, who will have the chance to move to within two points of league leaders Liverpool with a win in midweek, are looking to win a fourth consecutive Premier League title, but face stiff competition from Jurgen Klopp’s side; as well as Arsenal, Aston Villa and Tottenham.

Manchester City face Spurs in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round on Friday evening, returning to action following a warm-weather training camp in Abu Dhabi following a dramatic 3-2 win over Newcastle at St James’ Park earlier this month.

Guardiola’s side were afforded the opportunity to travel to the Middle East after avoiding an FA Cup third round replay against Huddersfield and not competing in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

Erling Haaland and John Stones returned to training following injury absences during the Blues’ training trip, with Kevin De Bruyne also continuing his return to full fitness after recently recovering from a five-month absence.

De Bruyne’s first Premier League start since surgery could come against Burnley next week, with the 32-year-old having suffered the devastating injury at Turf Moor on the opening weekend of the campaign.

The defence of their FA Cup crown against a title-chasing Spurs side will provide Manchester City with the perfect challenge following the winter break, however Burnley opted to play a secret friendly in preparation for their campaign resumption.

The Athletic report that Burnley travelled to Carrington to play Manchester United in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Wednesday, with Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw amongst the players to feature.

Kompany’s side, who had already played a friendly fixture against United this season, emerged as 3-1 winners.

Burnley are currently at risk of relegation, sat in 19th place in the Premier League table with just three wins all season.

The Clarets, who returned to the top-flight this season after an incredible Sky Bet Championship campaign, are currently five points adrift of safety.