Pep Guardiola makes five changes for City’s Friday night Premier League opener away at Burnley.
Treble triumph a once in a lifetime achievement says Pep
Ederson, Nathan Ake, Rico Lewis, skipper Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden all come into the starting line-up from the side that kicked off the Community Shield last Sunday against the Gunners.
Stefan Ortega Moreno, John Stones, Ruben Dias, Mateo Kovacic and Jack Grealish are the men to make way.
Grealish and Ortega Moreno both start on the bench along with summer signing Kovacic with fellow Croatian summer arrival Josko Gvardiol also amongst the replacements.
The Norway striker dispatched clinical finishes in the fourth and 36th minutes on Friday as City eased to a 3-0 victory at Burnley, a promoted team managed by City great Vincent Kompany, in the first match of England’s top division. Defensive midfielder Rodri scored the other goal.
Haaland enjoyed a spectacular first year at City, scoring 52 goals in all competitions — including 36 in the league — as Pep Guardiola’s team won the Premier League-FA Cup-Champions League treble.
He opened last season with a double at West Ham in a signal of what was to come and he made another statement at Turf Moor, even if it didn’t completely satisfy Guardiola. The City manager came onto the field at halftime and remonstrated with Haaland as they walked toward the tunnel, even flicking away a camera that was following the pair.
“We are still in the start phase of this marathon but I’m not stressing. I’m relaxed,” Haaland said. “I have to keep on developing and enjoy the chaos around me and perform on the pitch.”
It wasn’t the perfect evening for City, who are bidding to become the first team in English soccer history to win four straight top-flight league titles.
Why you should back Manchester City
A heartbreaking loss to Arsenal last Sunday in the Community Shield is all the motivation City need to start the EPL season on a high note. The Citizens looked to have the game sewn up after youngster Cole Palmer’s goal in the 77th minute. The Gunners equalized on a wicked deflection 11 minutes into second-half stoppage time before winning on penalties. The visitors won’t take Burnley lightly, but they are the far superior team. The Clarets finished 17th and 18th in their past two EPL seasons, while City come off a season where they won the EPL, FA Cup and Champions League.
Manchester City are 16-6-1 with a whopping 26-1 goal advantage in the past 23 league meetings between these teams. The champs also led the league in most meaningful metrics in 2022-23. They scored the most goals (94), tied for fewest conceded (33) and led the league in possession (64.7%) by a wide margin. Haaland scored an EPL-record 36 goals, and midfielder Kevin De Bruyne led the league with 16 assists. Phil Foden and Jack Grealish combined for 16 goals and 13 assists. See which team to pick here.
Why you should back Burnley
The Clarets had a record-setting season in the Championship and are no strangers to the Premier League. A founding member of the English FA, Burnley spent six years in the top flight before the 2021-22 relegation. They clinched promotion with seven games left, a Championship record, and had a 10-game win streak to tie another league mark. Burnley went 16-6-1 at Turf Moor last season, with a plus-34 goal differential. Five of their seven victories during the 18th-place 2021-22 EPL campaign came in Lancashire, one of those including 1-0 against Spurs.
Burnley scored 87 goals while conceding 35 in 46 league matches last season. They allowed 15 in 23 home matches. Clarets top scorer Nathan Tella (17 goals) is back with Southampton, but Benson Manuel (11) and several other young newcomers can be electrifying. Midfielders Josh Brownhill (seven goals, eight assists) and the ever-present Josh Cullen have excelled under manager Vincent Kompany. New goalkeeper James Trafford is a blossoming star brought over from Man City, and Kompany is a City legend who will have his men believing in an upset. See which team to pick here.
However, we’ve also spoken to several people who say they use Fantasy Premier League as a coping mechanism to manage an existing gambling addiction.
Jamie, not his real name, has rarely bet since 2018 and thinks “FPL is a big part of filling that void”.
When a content creator offered a free entry to Fan Team, he went to sign up. Thankfully it was covered by the self-exclusion scheme GamStop, so he wasn’t able to.
Scout Gaming Group, which runs FanTeam, says the site is licensed under the Gambling Commission. “Fanteam therefore is operating under the UK regulations and do not offer our products to minors or to people who have blocked themselves through Gamstop,” it says.
“If we believe that anyone who we work with is not complying with the rules and regulations of UKGC we will directly inform them about it and if it is not rectified we will, as soon as possible, close the relationship with any such party and aggressively pursue the removal of any offending content.”
Rob also uses GamStop, which stops him seeing betting ads online, but he says: “I can’t avoid seeing things on Twitter involving gambling.
“Personally, I think the big accounts involving FPL and gambling should take a look at themselves.”
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