Manchester City Vs Burnley Premier League Football Match 2023
The 2023-24 Premier League season kicks off with a champions vs. champions showdown on Friday night as Manchester City begin their latest top-flight title defence against last term’s Championship winners Burnley at Turf Moor. Pep Guardiola’s men go into the new campaign off the back of an unforgettable treble-winning season, and their first hurdle to yet more history this time around comes in the shape of one of the club’s greatest-ever players – Burnley boss Vincent Kompany. Even for a club that has enjoyed such enormous success as Man City have in the Guardiola era, the 2022-23 campaign will live long in the memory as the Citizens swept all before them.
The blue half of Manchester joined the red half as the only English clubs to have completed the fabled treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League glory, with City getting their hands on the latter trophy for the first time in their history. The challenge now will be to continue scaling such unprecedented heights; Man City have had no problem backing up one domestic title success with another, but the Champions League was the club’s holy grail and there can so often be a drop-off after a team has reached the top of the mountain.
There have been few signs that Man City will let their standards slip, though, and they once again go into the new season as favourites to lift the Premier League title – something that would see them become the first team in history to lift four top-flight English titles on the bounce, and further strengthen their claim to being the best team this country has ever produced. There is a long road ahead of them before they can begin thinking about that, though, and some eyebrows may have been raised by their defeats to Atletico Madrid in pre-season and Arsenal on penalties in the Community Shield.
Guardiola will no doubt point to the fact that they have lost the Community Shield in each of the previous two seasons as well, yet gone on to win the title, but with many of their rivals spending big to strengthen this summer, there is more optimism than usual that City’s dominance could be challenged by more than one team this term. The champions have also bolstered their ranks during the summer with Josko Gvardiol and Mateo Kovacic arriving, although they have lost two key figures of their recent success in captain Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez. Questions marks also remain over the futures of Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva, and while more incomings are sure to arrive too, there is a valid debate as to whether Man City have been weakened overall so far this summer.
The first real test of that theory will be a stern one on Friday night as they jointly raise the curtain on the new campaign with Burnley – a team led by their legendary former captain Kompany. It is a very different Burnley to the one which was relegated from the Premier League in 2021-22, with Kompany managing to instantly change the footballing philosophy and experience success with the Clarets en route to the Championship title last season. Burnley racked up a whopping 101 points and lost just three times – including only once at home – in the notoriously-difficult second tier, scoring a league-high 87 goals and conceding a league-low 35 on their way to finishing 10 points clear of their closest rivals.
There is little argument that Burnley were comfortably the best team in the Championship last season, then, but throughout the campaign Kompany was at pains to stress that such a status only made them the 21st-best team in England. Belgian will now have the chance to prove just where they really rank amongst England’s elite, and most pre-season predictions have them avoiding relegation at least. Burnley have moved to address the step-up in quality by being busy in the transfer market, bringing in Zeki Amdouni, James Trafford, Jordan Beyer, Dara O’Shea, Michael Obafemi, Luca Koleosho, Nathan Redmond, Lawrence Vigouroux, Jacob Bruun Larsen and Sander Berge for around £75m in total.
Pre-season results have largely been good as those new arrivals attempt to get on the same page before the real business begins, with a 2-0 defeat to Genk the only blot on their copybook from five outings. Victories over Benfica, Burton Albion and Sheffield Wednesday would have more than made up for that reverse, while their last friendly outing saw them draw with Real Betis. Kompany will know better than most that his side could hardly have been given a more difficult test with which to start life back in the Premier League, but the Turf Moor crowd will be in full voice under the floodlights and the hosts will hope that could spur them on towards an eye-catching upset.
Recent history is firmly against the Clarets, though, with Man City winning 15 and losing none of the last 16 meetings between the two sides, the last 11 of which have been by a whopping aggregate scoreline of 40-1. Indeed, Man City have scored five goals or more in five of those last 11 meetings, while Burnley’s last goal against Friday’s opponents came in December 2019 – eight meetings ago. Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne was something of a surprise inclusion in the matchday squad for the Community Shield following the injury he sustained in the Champions League final, coming off the bench but missing a penalty in the shootout.