Burnley host Man City at Turf Moor on Friday night to kick off the new Premier League season. This match pits Vincent Kompany against the side he captained for eight seasons. The teams met in the FA Cup in March as City won 6-0 at home with an Erling Haaland hattrick. The treble winners face off against the EFL Championship winners in what should be an exciting fixture.
Burnley were incredible in the Championship last season, picking up 101 points from their 46 matches. They scored 87 goals and conceded just 35 on the way to sealing automatic promotion. After losing 5-2 to Sheffield United in November, their next 27 league matches saw just one loss. That defeat came late in the season, 2-1 at home vs. QPR, when first place was already secured.
The Clarets have had five preseason matches with three wins. They beat Sheffield United 3-0 and Benfica 2-0 in standout results. Their home record last season saw 16 wins and six draws in 23 fixtures with just the solitary late-season setback. The last time they were in the top flight, a run of just four wins in 15 fixtures saw them relegated.
Burnley Team News
From Burnley’s side last season, they’ve lost two key players. Nathan Tella was on loan from Southampton and he netted 19 goals in their run to promotion. His move has not been made into a permanent deal. The other is left-back Ian Maatsen. The Chelsea loanee was in the Championship Team of the Season but the Clarets have not paid the fee to sign him permanently either.
They’ve made a smart move to sign Sander Berge from Sheffield United whilst Ashley Barnes has been released and Nathan Redmond has arrived from Besiktas. Striker Zeki Amdouni has come in from FC Basel and he top-scored in last season’s UEFA Conference League with seven goals. A big fee of £19m was paid to Man City for 20-year-old goalkeeper James Trafford, who is set to start this one.
The Clarets have nothing to lose in this fixture and will have a rocking Turf Moor behind them. They will look to play their usual style under Kompany and look to pull off a major upset.
A draw would be a great result but don’t expect the coach to play defensively to get it.
Man City Form
City had an incredible end to last season. They won 12 league matches on the bounce to retain the league title and a 4-0 win against Real Madrid sent them into the UEFA Champions League final. Their final two league matches saw them drop points as their attention turned to sealing a famous treble. Man City drew 1-1 at Brighton and lost 1-0 at Brentford.
The following week, they beat Man Utd 2-1 to lift the FA Cup. A 1-0 win against Inter Milan sealed the club’s first Champions League crown as they became only the second English side to achieve that feat. Their preseason has been a bit slow and they threw a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute of added time against Arsenal in the Community Shield. They went on to lose that match on penalties.
Man City Team News
Man City’s two new signings are both expected to start this match. Josko Gvardiol came in from RB Leipzig for £77.6m and is set to play on the left of the back three. Mateo Kovacic has been signed from Chelsea to replace the big loss of Ilkay Gundogan. Riyad Mahrez has been sold to Al Ahli so Bernardo Silva will play wide.
Guardiola is set to use a similar shape to last season – a 3-2-4-1 shape on the ball – with John Stones stepping into midfield. Nathan Ake has a slight knock and could miss out whilst Kevin De Bruyne should be fully fit after shaking off an injury.
Man City Motivation
City will go all out to win this first match and to show that their motivation has not dropped. Guardiola’s side will attack but also look to keep the ball and their positions to protect themselves from counters.
Nothing less than a win will do and City will also look to drive home the advantage if leading to win by a large margin.
Burnley have lost just once in their last 23 matches
Burnley have lost 5 of their last 8 Premier League matches
Burnley lost 6-0 to Man City in March (FA Cup)
Man City have won 12 of their last 14 league matches
City had the best away defensive record in the EPL last season (16 goals conceded)
City have conceded in 9 of their last 11 away league matches
This match will make it hard to extract value. City are massive favourites and could win by a good few goals. Erling Haaland should take all penalties after Gundogan and Mahrez departed and he netted three times in 28 minutes in the FA Cup game vs the Clarets in March.
Best Bet: Man City win (-1 handicap) at 1.86
Value Bet: Man City win (-2 handicap) at 3.15
Build-a-bet: Man City win, Haaland to score anytime + City to score 1-4 goals at 2.05