Manchester City vs Burnley Odds: English Premier League Pick, Prediction
Visionhaus/Getty. Pictured: Erling Haaland.
Man City vs Burnley Odds
We open the Premier League season with Man City vs. Burnley odds, as City begin their latest title defense on Friday when they lift the curtain on the new season in the short trip to a Burnley side that is back in the EPL after only one year away.
Depending on your view, you might say City have already opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Arsenal at Wembley in Sunday's Community Shield fixture, with Arsenal ultimately lifting the Shield on penalties.
Burnley's last top-flight fixture came in May of 2022, when a 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United on the final day coupled with Leeds' home win over Brentford sealed an end to a six-season stay in the Premiership.
The Cityzens have won the last 11 meetings between these sides — eight coming in the league and three more in cup competition — in a stretch that dates back to October of 2018. You have to go back three years further to find the Clarets' last win, a 1-0 home triumph decided by George Boyd's 61st-minute winner.
Burnley's preferred tactics have changed rather drastically since their last tenure in the EPL.
Former City defender Vincent Kompany took the reins only a month after the Clarets' relegation became official, and he has instituted a ball-dominant style influenced by the system where he spent 11 seasons as one of the world's best center-halves.
The result has been a team that kept the ball at least half the time in all but six of their fixtures across all competitions — including three quarters or more of the possession in six league encounters — while storming to a first-place finish in the League Championship and 101 total points.
That's almost assuredly not going to be the case on Friday against the reigning English and European champions, who are probably the best side on the planet. Even so, the tactical flow of the game could be considerably different from these sides' previous meetings with more of an emphasis on attacking by both teams.
The Clarets' technical staff has had enough recent top-flight experience to know the importance of adding to a squad that ascends from the second tier. But there are frustrations to that end, with Burnley so far unable to secure the return of last year's leading scorer Nathan Tella after he played on loan from Southampton in 2022-2023.
What else can City accomplish after finally securing that long-pursued UEFA Champions League crown in addition to domestic honors? There is one thing: become the first side in English football history to win the league four years in a row.
Manager Pep Guardiola's side has had a relatively focused transfer window by their standards, bringing in a pair of Croatians in young defender Josko Gvardiol and midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
The former has been dubbed the most expensive defender in history after completing a transfer from RB Leipzig for a fee reportedly just shy of $100 million. But there could be an adjustment period given how different City's tactical approach will be from his former employers, one of the more famous high-press innovators in the global game.
And there will be a different dynamic in the dressing room following the departure of captain Ilkay Gungdoan to Barcelona and veteran striker Riyad Mahrez to the Saudi Pro League. While Mahrez had become mostly a bench player in his later years at City, Gungdoan remained a key factor throughout his time.
Defender Kyle Walker took the armband in the Community Shield, as he did on a handful of occasions last season.
Burnley vs. Manchester City
Betting Pick & Prediction
City were not nearly as dynamic on their Premier League travels as at the Etihad Stadium last season, but they were consistent. Of the eight times they dropped points on their travels, all but one came against teams that finished in the top half of the table.
Since Burnley probably profile as a bottom-half team, despite some impressive investment and tactical evolution from the last time we saw them at this level, there's probably value on that City moneyline, as ugly as the price is.
Looking closer, when City faced bottom-half foes who were more likely to be proactive in search of goals in the last campaign, they generally conceded once. Southampton, Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Leeds all found the net against the league champions before their home supporters. Only Forest managed to earn a point for their troubles.
Trends don't necessarily carry over across seasons, but I think this opening fixture probably against Burnley profiles most like those matches. Also, a late consolation goal may be more valuable to City's newly promoted opponents than it would be to a more established side, for the sake of building confidence and momentum toward more winnable fixtures.
So, my favorite bet here is the parlay on City to win and both teams to score at +200 odds and an implied 33.3% probability. You might also consider City to win and the total to go over 2.5 goals at slightly worse than even money.