Burnley vs Lincoln City Preview: Can the Imps break down fortress Turf Moor for another FA Cup shock?

Burnley vs Lincoln City Preview: Can the Imps break down fortress Turf Moor for another FA Cup shock?

Lincoln are top of the National League but take on a Burnley side with an excellent record at home.

Chris Lincoln

Cast your mind back to the start of January, where the 'magic of the Cup' was under threat with fans staying away and Premier League teams resting key players. Pundits and fans across the country were debating whether the FA Cup still conjured up the same memories and spirit as it was once renowned for. 

Down in leafy Lincolnshire, one side were fighting against the negative atmosphere. National League side Lincoln City saw off Championship club Ipswich Town to set up another exciting tie against Premier League hopefuls Brighton and Hove Albion. The Imps then disposed of the Seagulls to set up a dream tie with Premier League side Burnley.

Lincoln looking to create more history

Lincoln have captured the hearts of many for their giant-killing run organised by managerial duo and former teachers Danny and Nicky Cowley. Joined by Sutton United in the Fifth Round, it is the first time since 1920 that two non-league sides have reached the last 16 of the famous competition. If either side progress, they will become the first non-league representatives in the quarter-finals since before the First World War.

The Imps have already created history by reaching this stage for the first time in more than a 100 years. Yet they are looking to take their great form this season into an exciting Saturday lunchtime contest. Top of the National League and looking set to become a Football League side next season, Lincoln have won their last four and 15 of their previous 18 matches in all competitions.

Lincoln are enjoying an incredible season (photo: Getty Images)
Lincoln are enjoying an incredible season (photo: Getty Images)

Burnley boast an excellent home record

However the underdogs take on an inspired Burnley side previously tipped for Premier League relegation but sitting comfortably in mid-table. Sean Dyche would prefer not to talk about their away record but has built a fortress at Turf Moor with only Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur boasting better form this season. The Clarets have won seven of their last eight home games, extending a run of 20 wins from their previous 29.

Yet Burnley will be wary of the Fifth Round after failing to progress at this stage on four occasions in the last 14 seasons since they last went further in 2002-03. Lincoln themselves also have a good record against Burnley with three draws in their last four, though the last meeting was in 1999 and Lincoln's most recent victory 11 years before that.

Both teams only have a handful of selection headaches to consider, with Robbie Brady and Josh Ginnelly cup-tied for their respective clubs. Republic of Ireland international Jeff Hendrick continues to serve a three-match ban for the hosts, whilst experienced defender Lee Beevers is an injury absentee for the visitors. Will this be another fairytale for Lincoln or a step just too far after an season to remember for the Imps?