Hi! Hola! Salut! Ciao! The break that made us everybody wait for the top-flight competition which comes with expectations, glory, drama and emotions, is over now. Take out your favourite jerseys, take out your scarves, hold up-tight. Let the eleven players whom you adore so much, decide your mental health for the next 10-11 months. It is time to side with your principles, ethics and the attitude to never give in, no matter what because this league does not fall short to provide any one of the things listed previously. So it is time for action, it is time for the Premier League!
Turf Moor marks the spot, where the kick-off of the very first game of the 23-24 season will take place. Manchester City, the treble winning side of the previous season, the only amongst the 2 English sides to do so, will arrive in Burnley. The Clarets, on the other side, will be hosting as the league winners of the Championship, the 2nd division of English football.
It’s a clash between the winners of their respective leagues in the previous season. Majorly, it is a clash between the master and the disciple. Guardiola vs Kompany is the new battle added to the PL entertainment nights.
Manchester City going all in with new signings such as Kovačić and Gvardiol as they look forward to win the league for the fourth time, consecutively speaking. They will be the first English club to do so.
Burnley, on the other hand, had a great season last year. It felt like Kompany-ball was just too good for the Championship. Burnley has signed a total of 10 players in this transfer window. This is a statement from the club which speaks volumes showing that Burnley means business this year. They will not back down and will try to stay in the league, to say the least.
Burnley’s Pre-Season form: W W L W D
Man City’s Pre-Season form: W L L
WHEN & WHERE?
Where: Turf Moor, Burnley.
When: Friday, 11th August 2023.
Time: 7:00 PM GMT.
Referee: Craig Pawson.
Assistants: Simon Bennett, Steve Meredith.
Fourth official: Graham Scott.
VAR: Michael Oliver.
Assistant VAR: Stuart Burt.
Burnley will miss their new signing Michael Obafemi due to hamstring injury. While the new signings such as Sander Berge, Dara O’Shea, James Trafford and Jordan Beyer might get their debuts.
Manchester City have all of their players at the disposal. Kovačić will get his debut for the PL defending champions following his transfer from Chelsea. The Croatian defender, Gvardiol might get some minutes as well. Nathan Ake is available as well, despite missing the Community Shield against Arsenal.
Kompany is of course an admirer of possession based football. A usual 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 is the go-to shape for the Belgian. Although playing any of the 2 formations, his overall formation looks like a compact 4-3-3. During a 4-2-3-1, one of the players from the double pivot drifts up front into the attack. This creates a numerical advantage in attack as well as creates a balance within a system with 5 in attack and 5 in defense. The two wing backs get in a line with the remaining pivot player, this gives an advantage while playing from the back as you can stretch the pitch wide and rotate the ball more efficiently. It becomes more of 2-3-2-3 formation with good equilibrium. You can clearly see that this style is very much inspired from Guardiola’s style.
Pep Guardiola made an invincible team last season. The tactical shift to a 3-5-2 helped the team achieve new heights. Certainly, he had an elite class of players in his arsenal, which made it look so easy. But now with Gündoğan gone, Mahrez leaving for Saudi, there are some gaps in this team which need to be filled ASAP. City signed the Chelsea midfielder, Kovačić in the summer, although not being a like to like replacement for Gündoğan, he is a good press-resistant and a box-to-box player who can fit into Guardiola’s plans easily. Pep now has to figure out, what shape suits his team the best. With the addition of Gvardiol and Kyle Walker most likely to extend his contract, City’s defense looks scary. Phil Foden will have a key role in the team this season.
Can you believe that this guy signed for City just last year. It looks like he has already achieved everything a striker can, in the league. He played 35 games with starting 33 of them and scored a record-breaking total of 36 goals and has given 8 assists. These numbers are scary and can make you win on any day. He is an extra-terrestrial player. But with lack of players like Gündoğan and Mahrez, will this affect his numbers? Since a striker is incomplete without the proper help of players playing around him. It would be an interesting bet on whether he breaks his own record or gets called a one season wonder (latter won’t be the case in my opinion).
Burnley’s predicted lineup vs Man City: Muric; Ameen, Beyer, O’Shea, Roberts; Cork, Brownhill; Zaroury, Amdouni; Koleosho; Foster.
Manchester City’s predicted lineup vs Burnley: Ederson; Gvardiol, Dias, Walker; Rodri, Stones; Grealish, Alvarez, Silva, Foden; Haaland.