John Stones admits he relishes the physical challenge of facing Burnley.

The Clarets’ more direct style means that Stones or whoever is in defence at Turf Moor are sure for a busy 90 minutes.

The City and England defender believes Burnley can battle with the best of them, particularly on their own turf – and expects nothing less on Tuesday evening.

READ: Where can I watch Burnley v City?

“I’ve been really impressed with Burnley and I think I remember playing against one of Sean Dyche’s teams when I was at Barnsley,” said Stones.

“They had the same philosophy and drive and determination as how they play now, and a lot of passion.

 


                        SLIDE AWAY: John Stones straining every sinew to reclaim possession
SLIDE AWAY: John Stones straining every sinew to reclaim possession

 

“They play to their strengths, but they’re definitely all on the same page and to get in the top 10 is not an understatement for how they play and get results.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Sean and his team.”

Stones says the added dimension of a twin striking threat I the shape of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes adds spice to the occasion.

The Burnley duo will aim to keep the Blues’ defence busy, with each posing a different sort of threat.

“We’ve come up against each other a few times now,” said Stones.

“We know each other quite well. It’s never an easy game and I’m sure they’d say the same against me.

“It’s a great match up, something you like to come up against when you play them.

“They play a different type of football; they’re very physical, strong, and in the modern game the strikers are usually nimbler maybe, smaller in height, different qualities and it’s a breath of fresh air to have a variety of people to play against.”

Stones added that City may be 11 points behind Liverpool going into the next round of matches but believes everything is possible in football.

“It’s a big challenge, definitely a big one, but in my opinion it’s definitely doable,” he said.

“Last season I think it was nine points at one stage in the season, and obviously now it’s 11.

“We can’t dwell on looking at the gap or what games they’ve got coming up. We’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves. It comes from us, who we play, and the next game we face is Burnley.

“We’ve got to put every ounce of focus into that game, and for every game that comes after that we’ve got to do the same. We take it one step at a time.

“There’s a lot of games to play so we’ve got a lot of preparation to do for the Premier League. It’s still our dream, still our focus and we’re going to do everything we can to achieve it.

“We’re still the champions and we should have that healthy arrogance about it. It’s something so unique and we should have every confidence in everyone, and I think we do that, we trust each other and play for each other.”