The English Premier League season 2023/24 begins tonight as Treble winners Manchester City kick off their title defence against newly promoted Burnley at the Turf Moor Stadium.
Burnley, who boast the best attacking record in the Championship last season are led by Vincent Kompany, a City legend, now welcoming his former boss Pep Guardiola. Burnley garnered 101 points in the Championship last season, scoring a record league-high 87 goals. They only lost three times, once at home, conceding only 35. In a record-breaking season, the Clarets finished 10 points clear of second-placed Sheffield United.
City, on the other hand, have not had a good record defensively, despite a historic last season. They have conceded in eight of their last 10 games not playing at the Etihad. Pep’s men have, however, scored at least three times in 18 instances this year.
Kevin De Bryune is expected to make an appearance after coming on as a substitute against Arsenal in the Community Shield final. Nathan Ake is also fit for the matchday squad. Erling Haaland, Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva are expected to lead the attack, with new signing Matteo Kovacic and Rodri set to start in midfield. New defender Josko Gvardiol could start on the bench, while John Stones, Ruben Dias and Manuel Akanji start at the back.
The hosts will miss new signing Obafemi who underwent surgery after a hamstring injury. Kompany could decide to start with another new signing, James Trafford at goal, with a back four of Connor Roberts, Dara O’Shea, Jordan Beyer and Ameen Al-Dakhil. Jack Cork is expected to start in midfield alongside Josh Brownhil, with Zeki Amdouni and Anass Zaroury all looking to bolster the attack.
Burnley form (pre-season) - WWLWD
Manchester City form (pre-season) WWLL
Burnley's possible starting XI:
Trafford, Beyer, O’Shea, Roberts, Dakhil, Cork, Cullen, Brownhill, Zaroury; Amdouni, Redmond.
Manchester City's possible starting XI:
Ederson, Walker, Dias, Akanji, Stones, Rodri, Kovacic, De Bruyne, Grealish, Bernardo, Haaland
STANDARD TIPSTAR PREDICTION: Burnley 1-3 Manchester City
We expect Manchester City to begin the season with no hiccups and dispatch a highly motivated Burnley side, who could look to catch the Citizens on the break. We predict a 3-1 win for Manchester City with both sides expected to score at least a goal. The game starts at 10 pm East African Time.