The final game of the opening matchday in England’s Premier League will go down Monday afternoon as Manchester City will play host to Burnley.
While there is a pretty substantial gap between both sides in this year’s table, Man City basically have nothing else to play for with the Premier League, while Sean Dyche and his Burnley side continue to push for a Europa League spot.
Man City will likely have a leg-up in this contest in terms of shaking off the rust and match familiarity, as they played last Wednesday against Arsenal. While the Citizens didn’t dazzle until the second half, once they did – they showed the full might of their offense. Burnley will need to ensure they have proper structure and discipline away from the ball on Monday.
Expect Burnley to head to Man City, playing for a draw. They’ve enjoyed a very successful campaign already this year, and headed into the pause with some real momentum. The Clarets are the type of pesky group that tend to give skilled opposition fits, and their rigid defense against Man City’s lethal attack, should produce quite the clash in styles.
Given what this match means to Burnley’s finishing position, there’s more at stake than the casual observer might think. It should produce a quality game to end off the matchweek, and we’ll be looking to finish with a winner. Read on beneath the odds for a full match breakdown and betting analysis. Enjoy the game!
Manchester City vs. Burnley Betting Odds:
Manchester City (-714)
Over 3.5 (+105)
Under 3.5 (-125)
Manchester City -2.5 (+110)
Burnley +2.5 (-130)
*Betting odds provided at BetOnline.ag
Manchester City vs. Burnley Pick:
As mentioned above, don’t expect this to be quite the mismatch the betting lines would have you believe it to be. Pep Guardiola is only a week removed from saying his squad was nowhere near fully fit, and he admitted there isn’t all that much to play for in the Premier League. While they disposed of Arsenal easily midweek, the only reason that result came together was due to David Luiz’s inability to clear a ball, followed by a subsequent red card. Otherwise that match was definitely trending toward a draw.
Burnley will lineup in a rigid 4-4-2 formation and will be content to let Man City pass around the perimeter of the field for 90 minutes. Their structure and organization remains one of the best seen in all of the Premier League, and manager Sean Dyche will have them well-prepared for the skill and trickery of City’s attackers.
Before the break Burnley was in excellent form, beating both Man United and Leicester City, finding big success with a new formation. In fact, in the 4-4-2 they’ve managed to secure nearly a +5 expected goal differential, a trend that makes them a squad to watch down the stretch.
Making matters even trickier for Man City before this clash, is their lack of health at the back. Eric Garcia remains out injured following his clash in the Arsenal match, while John Stones continues to battle an ankle injury. That will surely force some unfamiliar faces in uncertain roles, and could create some confusion along the City backline.
Expect Guardiola to also really use his depth and give chances to players who wouldn’t typically start. Rodri, Phil Foden, and Bernardo Silva are all expected to enter the starting lineup, pushing more established stars to the bench. Again, the focus for City is very likely just the Champions League resuming in August.
With that said, laying a big price on either the moneyline or spread for City seems crazy. They have zero to play for, injuries and squad rotation, while a hungry and motivated Burnley side need points for European football qualification. They’ve been in solid form and defend quite well. Getting a +2.5 handicap doesn’t hurt much either, so expect a motivated showing from the Clarets on Monday evening, and expect them to keep things tight throughout.
Pick: Manchester City 2-1