Burnley hosts reigning champions Manchester City in what promises to be an entertaining Premier League season opener on Friday.
Burnley’s return is full of challenges
Undoubtedly, a surge of momentum will accompany their journey to 101 points through triumphant victories in the Championship. However, the Premier League presents an entirely distinct challenge.
As is typical for any promoted club, the primary objective will be survival, regardless of the team’s outward confidence. Commencing the season at their home ground against Manchester City will provide a strong indicator of the challenges awaiting them. Turf Moor won’t offer any respite to their opponents.
Burnley’s experience in the summer transfer window has been somewhat vexing. Nathan Tella, last season’s standout performer, will likely return to Southampton after his season-long loan. The Saints like his potential to replicate his Championship exploits for their Premier League campaign.
Burnley’s efforts to secure Tella’s return have encountered obstacles and may continue to do so until the window’s closure. A deal for Soumaïla Coulibaly from Borussia Dortmund also collapsed at the eleventh hour, a far from ideal situation.
Amid these developments, there are numerous positive aspects to glean from the club’s activities in the market. Jordan Beyer and Michael Obafemi have completed permanent transfers following their loan spells. The arrival of Nathan Redmond contributes valuable Premier League experience, while several promising young players have been acquired.
James Trafford from Manchester City and Zeki Amdouni, a 22-year-old purchased from Young Boys, join the ranks. The ultimate test lies in observing how these individuals adapt to the rigors of competing in arguably the world’s top league.
Can someone stop Manchester City?
In the Premier League, the challengers to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City face an uphill battle to disrupt the team’s dominance.
Having swept aside almost all competition in the previous season, finally clinching the coveted Champions League title and securing their fifth Premier League championship in six years, they once again commence a fresh season as the team to conquer.
Uncharacteristically, and in stark contrast to the previous summer when the buzz around Erling Haaland’s arrival proved justified, this offseason has been marked by significant departures.
The exits of Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez undeniably create voids, and speculation lingers about the futures of other squad members.
However, this is not a squad being dismantled. With stars like Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish, they remain one of the most imposing groups of stars in the Premier League’s history.
The midfield has received a boost with the acquisition of Mateo Kovacic, a four-time Champions League winner, and there might be further additions to come.
Guided by the inspirational Guardiola, Manchester City will approach key moments with the same focus and determination as always.
Last year, they overcame player departures, a sluggish start, and a mid-season World Cup hiatus to mount a perfectly timed title charge under Guardiola’s masterful leadership. With him at the helm, a significant drop-off seems unlikely.
The player to watch in this game is Erling Haaland, who had 36 goals and eight assists in 35 Premier League games this season. AccuScore gives Erling Haaland a 58.58 percent chance to score against Burnley. He had 28.4 Expected Goals in 35 Premier League games last season.
FBRef defines SCA as “the two offensive actions leading directly to a shot, such as passes, dribbles and drawing fouls.” GCA is “the two offensive actions leading directly to a goal, such as passes, dribbles and drawing fouls.” Let’s take a closer look at where the value is at in this matchup.
Team to Win (Regular Time)
• Burnley 9.40
• Manchester City 1.31
• Draw: 5.60
• Burnley +1.5 (1.90)
• Manchester City -1.5 (1.85)
• Over 2.5, 3 (1.78)
• Under 2.5, 3 (1.98)
Key Points to Consider
Head-to-Head: These two sides last matched up in Premier League action on April 2 and Manchester City won 2-0.
For Burnley, Jay Rodriguez has a 14.86 percent chance to net the ball. He averages 0.45 shots overall per sim, 0.25 shots on goal per and 0.16 goals per sim.
For Manchester City, Erling Haaland has a 58.58 percent chance to score. He averages 2.64 shots overall per sim, 1.5 shots on goal per and 0.87 goals per sim.
Manchester City 1.31
Two-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend pick on Manchester City in this one. Average score in simulations is Manchester City 1.78 to Burnley 0.4.
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