‘I don’t see’ — Pundit makes intriguing Man City and Arsenal title prediction
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Manchester City will start their title defence this evening when they get the 2023/24 Premier League season underway with their opening clash against Burnley. Club legend Vincent Kompany will meet with his old side as manager of the Clarets, looking for a strong start to their first term back in the top flight.
The former Man City captain spearheaded Burnley to the Championship title last season, as well as automatic promotion into the Premier League. It’s going to be an entertaining one to watch in a clash of champions, as both teams have a point to prove as they fire up their respective campaigns.
Naturally, Pep Guardiola’s side are the clear favourites to come away with the win. However, City haven’t been tipped to deliver a thrashing at Turf Moor tonight. Paul Merson in particular has backed the Citizens to come away with a 2-0 win, but he believes Burnley will put on a good display and that this season is going to pose a pretty big challenge for the title holders.
“Manchester City didn’t create loads of chances in their Community Shield match,” Merson wrote for Sportskeeda. “Arsenal defended very well, and I expect Burnley to put up an admirable defence as well.
“I don’t see the title race as a foregone conclusion this year. It’s going to be difficult for Manchester City to defend their Premier League title. This match is going to be tough for Manchester City, but they should be able to defeat Burnley this weekend.”
Chris Sutton also penned a 2-0 win for City in his BBC Sport column. Similar to Merson, he described them as “a bit undercooked” against Arsenal in their Community Shield defeat, but doesn’t believe this is much of an indicator of how the rest of the campaign will play out. Sutton also made an early claim on Burnley’s end-of-season fate.
“They often start the season quite slowly, and we all know how they usually finish it. This is still the champions we are talking about, though, and they have got so much quality in their squad.
“I am fascinated by Burnley, because a lot of people seem to be thinking they will stay up, but I have got them going down. I love what Clarets boss Vincent Kompany is doing and I loved the way they played in the Championship last year, but I think they will find it a lot more difficult if they try that brand of football in the top flight.”
Arsenal looked nailed on to come away with the title last season but an inevitable City side made up the lost ground and wrapped up their third consecutive triumph. After a successful summer transfer window so far, the Gunners will be up for round two in what promises to be another title race thriller.