Vincent Kompany tipped to repeat Pep Guardiola tactic in Man City vs Burnley tie

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany can continue utilising inverted full-backs against former club Manchester City in their FA Cup quarter-final tie says Arsenal icon Martin Keown.

Pep Guardiola is the current coach most associated with reviving the role where wide defenders drift inside to take up more typical midfield positions after his idol Johan Cruyff previously employed the tactic in Barcelona. Former City assistant coach Mikel Arteta has also used Oleksandr Zinchenko as an inverted left full-back at Arsenal this season. Brighton and Hove Albion have also adopted the approach in recently in the Premier League.

The runaway Championship leaders have also done so since Kompany arrived at Burnley over the summer. The Clarets use Wales international right-back Connor Roberts in the role, which allows Chelsea loanee Ian Maatsen to push further forward on the opposite flank.

READ MORE: Kompany not ready to accept Guardiola prediction ahead of City return

Keown writes in the Daily Mail that inverted full-backs are ‘essential’ to Burnley’s play. “When studying the brilliant work Burnley have done this season, Manchester City staff will have noticed similarities to their own style of plays,” the column reads.

“The movements made by the Championship club’s players, especially how the right-back Connor Roberts regularly moves into midfield, mirror those of the Premier League champions. At the heart of Burnley’s philosophy is a desire to create, score and win.”

The former England international continues to explain the chain reaction that sees Roberts move inside to partner West Ham United academy graduate Josh Cullen in midfield, allowing Johann Berg Gudmundsson to push further forward to support the forward line. That allows Ashley Barnes to drop deeper as another loanee Nathan Tella, from Southampton, and Anass Zaroury become the most advanced forwards, with Vitinho also in the same vicinity.