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Media Watch: Classy City look 'unstoppable'

It’s the start of another busy week for Manchester City with Tuesday’s tough trip to Newcastle in the Premier League followed by a Sunday showdown with Arsenal.

Monday’s Media Watch looks ahead to our trip to St James’ Park as well as revealing Pep Guardiola’s thoughts on our rapidly expanding fixture schedule.

But we start with further reflections on Saturday’s superb 5-0 FA Cup fourth round win over Burnley.

And having seen the destructive power of the Blues first hand on Saturday, Burnley boss Sean Dyche describes how he believes that after a January which has seen us amass 30 goals and win seven successive games, City have what it takes to mount a sustained challenge on all four fronts.

The Express’s Matt Penn reports on how Dyche was left waxing lyrical about method and manner of City’s play.

Writes Penn: "Liverpool may be four points clear at the top of the league table and are also out of the FA Cup removing the possibility of a fixture log-jam.

READ: Pep Guardiola | No team safe against Newcastle

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"And the Blues boss has been at pains to play down talk of a potential quadruple as ‘fantasy’.

"But Dyche, who watched his side succumb to City’s fearsome attack at the Etihad, such is City’s quality they can prove a match for any side.

"They have elite players and are so clinical," said the Clarets boss.

"Who is going to stop them winning everything if they're in that mood?

"They are a top, top team and if you catch them on a day like today they punish every mistake you make.

“I’ve got three very good goalkeepers and I could have done with all three being in the net on Saturday.”

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With the Blues still fighting for success on four fronts, it means the fixtures continue to arrive thick and fast with the rearranged Premier League trip to Everton on February 6 now assuming key importance.

But rather the fret about the packed schedule and demands on the squad, the Manchester Evening News’s Tyrone Marshall describes how the Blues boss wants City to embrace the challenge facing them.

Writes Marshall: "It (the Everton fixture) means City would have played 22 games in 79 days by the time they've played Chelsea on Sunday, February 10.

It's a demanding schedule for the players but Guardiola revealed he won't be handing them any extra day-offs.

Instead he's urging his players to save their holidays until they've retired and give everything they have got to bring more silverware to the Etihad this season.

READ: When is the FA Cup fifth round draw?

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"How do you have a day off? When I prepared the schedule between Arsenal and Chelsea, we had eight days. Today I wake up and suddenly we play Everton in between. I cannot give a day off," Guardiola said.

"We have a lot of games, so no way. It is what it is. But at the same time I tell them it's a privilege. If you believe it's a handicap, that's a big mistake. It's a privilege.

"When you are 35-years-old you can have long holidays. No problem, you will be retired. Take a year for holidays. But for now it's a privilege. Take it, enjoy it. Next one, win again.

"The competition doesn't matter. Friendly game? Win again. Play good, prepare well. That's the only way. After, you work for the next season."

Musing on Saturday’s win, the Guardian’s Jamie Jackson believes the manner of a convincing display, especially after the break, illustrated that Guardiola’s players are really finding their stride just at the right time.

Jackson reported: “His men are hitting optimum form just as the Champions League roves into view and the business end of the campaign begins.

“When witnessing such a display it seems odd to recall City’s December, when they lost three times and ceded ground to Liverpool in their title defence.

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“The five goals Guardiola’s men put past Burnley took the combined scoreline of their last six outings to 28-0. “Our eighth game in a row of winning,” the manager said. “I’m most delighted that everyone has been involved.”

Aside from tonight’s FA Cup fifth round draw, immediate attention, of course, now switches to Tuesday’s return to league action away at Newcastle United.

The Magpies suffered a disappointing FA Cup fourth round exit at home to Watford at the weekend.

But, speaking to the Newcastle Chronicle’s Lee Ryder, striker Matt Ritchie insisted that Rafa Benitez’s players were relishing the challenge of hosting the champions.

Ritchie told the Chronicle: "The lads know we played well against Cardiff and now we have a tough test on Tuesday (against City).

"It's a game we are looking forward to.

"We were unlucky in the away game earlier in the season but we will have a game plan to try to frustrate but it's a good opportunity to put in a good performance and hopefully get something from the game."

READ: Nick Cushing hails City's fast start

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Finally, the BBC Sport website carries details on how Manchester City maintained top spot in the FA Women’s Super League with a dominant 3-0 win over Brighton on Sunday.

The Beeb reports: “City maintained top spot in the Women's Super League as they eased to victory over Brighton & Hove Albion.

“Nikita Parris opened the scoring early on from the penalty spot after Lauren Hemp was brought down in the area.

“Defender Gemma Bonner tapped in the second shortly after the half-hour mark and Parris got her second with a header to make it 3-0 before half-time.

“England captain Steph Houghton went close to adding a fourth from a second-half free-kick which curled wide.

“City remain a point above the second-placed Gunners, who have a game in hand.

“But both of the top two's hopes of securing European qualification were boosted as third-placed Chelsea were beaten at home by fourth-placed Birmingham City.”

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