Burnley vs Manchester City opens the 2023-24 Premier League season on Friday night. We preview the clash between last season’s Championship and Premier League champions, including the Opta prediction.

Burnley vs Manchester City: Quick Hits

  • Manchester City are tipped by the Opta supercomputer to win this season-opener, with a 63.5% chance of picking up all three points.
  • The only previous occasion of a reigning Premier League champion playing in the opening game of the following season saw them lose: Leicester City to Hull City in 2016-17.
  • Erling Haaland has now gone six competitive Man City appearances without a goal.

Match Preview

This match will pit the master against the apprentice. Vincent Kompany appeared 265 times in the Premier League for Manchester City, with 45 of those coming under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola. It so happens that his first game as a Premier League manager sees him come up against both former club and coach, while it’ll also mean that he’ll be the first Belgian coach to manage a team in a Premier League fixture.

This clash is the first in a mouthwatering set of Matchday 1 fixtures. The predictions of those fixtures can all be found below:


Turf Moor will witness the reigning top-flight champions playing in the first match of a Premier League season for just the second time in the history of the competition, and they’ll be hoping for a repeat of the first. In that match, reigning champions Leicester City suffered a shock 2-1 defeat against newly promoted Hull City away from home, back in August 2016.

Guardiola will be looking to edge closer to 200 Premier League victories with a win in this match. Needing just three more wins, he would become just the third coach to reach 200 wins in charge of a single club in the Premier League era after Alex Ferguson at Man Utd (528) and Arsène Wenger at Arsenal (476), while he’s currently the leading permanent manager in Premier League history for both win ratio (74.1%) and points per game (2.35).

He’ll have to go for his fourth successive Premier League title win without both Ilkay Gündogan and Riyad Mahrez, who have moved on this summer, but he has reinforced the squad with two Croatians: central midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea and defender Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig.

Burnley have been busier in the transfer market following their promotion last season, bringing in both Michael Obafemi and Jordan Beyer following successful loan spells in 2022-23, as well as James Trafford, Dara O’Shea and former Norwich and Southampton winger Nathan Redmond among others. Obafemi will be missing from the Burnley matchday squad for this match, following hamstring surgery this summer. Kompany made another signing on Thursday, with the arrival of Sander Berge from Sheffield United – he could make his debut in this fixture.

No player scored as many league goals across the top four English leagues last season as Man City star Erling Haaland (36), while Kevin De Bruyne’s 16 assists were a joint record across the Premier League and EFL. Both will be looking to start the 2023-24 season in impressive fashion, but Haaland’s recent form has been of concern, as he’s scored just once in his eight competitive club appearances, with his run without a goal now standing at six games.

Nathan Aké is Man City’s only real injury doubt, with the Dutchman missing the FA Community Shield defeat to Arsenal last weekend. Goalkeeper Ederson and creator-in-chief De Bruyne are expected to start after they started on the bench at Wembley.

Burnley vs Manchester City Head-to-Head

Burnley’s recent head-to-head record against Manchester City will worry all home fans ahead of Friday night’s meeting. They have lost 11 successive meetings with City in all competitions, including a 6-0 rout in the FA Cup at the Etihad Stadium last season. Overall, they’ve won just one of the last 23 league matches versus Man City and have lost the last eight in a row in league competition by an aggregate score of 26-1.

That 6-0 FA Cup defeat to Pep Guardiola’s side in March meant that 13% of Burnley’s total goals conceded in all competitions last season came in this single match. In addition to goals from Julián Álvarez and Cole Palmer, Erling Haaland scored a hat-trick – the only player to score a hat-trick against Burnley in 2022-23.

Manchester City 6-0 Burnley

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Manchester City started their 2023-24 campaign with the annual curtain-raiser to the English top-flight season last weekend at Wembley Stadium. After taking the lead through Palmer’s excellent 77th-minute strike, City conceded deep into injury-time to Leandro Trossard, before losing the penalty shootout 4-1.

They ended the 2022-23 campaign with two final victories: 2-1 in the FA Cup final versus rivals Manchester United and a 1-0 win over Internazionale in the UEFA Champions League final to seal a historic treble – just the second English club to achieve this feat.

After failing to win their last two Premier League matches last season – a 1-1 draw at Brighton before a 1-0 defeat at Brentford on the final day, Man City are hoping to avoid going three league games without a win for the first time since April 2017 (a run of four games). They haven’t lost successive Premier League matches since Boxing Day 2018.

Burnley won the 2022-23 English Championship with 101 points, becoming just the sixth team in second-tier history to surpass the 100-point mark in a single season. Across the top four tiers of England last season, only Plymouth (31) won more league games (excluding play-offs) than the Clarets (29), while they were the fourth highest-scoring side (87 goals) in those competitions behind just Arsenal (88), Man City (94) and Ipswich Town (101).

Their last four Premier League games – all in May 2022 – saw them collect only one point, with three defeats – to Aston Villa at home, Tottenham away and Newcastle at home – and drawing away at Aston Villa.

Burnley vs Manchester City Prediction


Considering Manchester City won the treble in 2022-23 and Burnley have just been promoted back to the top flight, the Opta supercomputer prediction of a Man City away win won’t come as much of a surprise to most people reading this preview.

The reigning Premier League champions are being given a 63.5% chance of victory in front of the television cameras at Turf Moor on Friday night, with a chance of a Burnley home win standing at 13.7%. Vincent Kompany would surely see avoiding a defeat in this match as a success, with the chance of a Burnley win or draw at 36.5%.

Manchester City are the overwhelming favourites for the Premier League title with the Opta supercomputer. Across 10,000 pre-season simulations, Man City won the title 90.2% of the time, with Arsenal (4.1%), Liverpool (3.6%) and Man Utd (1.7%) the only other clubs to win it more than 100 times in the predictive sims.

Burnley will be hopeful of avoiding relegation back to the Championship, and the Opta supercomputer thinks it’s very possible. Five teams saw their season end in relegation more often than Burnley across the pre-season simulations than the Lancashire club (33.2%), with Nottingham Forest (33.8%), Everton (34.4%), Bournemouth (48.9%), Sheffield United (49.0%) and Luton Town (62.3%) deemed more likely candidates for the drop.

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