Pep Guardiola makes five changes for City’s Friday night Premier League opener away at Burnley.
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.
Guardiola revealed that Stones is ruled out through an adductor injury in training while Dias also misses out from tonight’s squad through concussion.
CITY: Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Ake, Lewis, Rodrigo, De Bruyne (C), Bernardo, Foden, Alvarez, Haaland
Subs: Ortega Moreno, Phillips, Kovačić, Grealish, Laporte, Gómez, Gvardiol, Palmer, McAtee
BURNLEY: Trafford, O’Shea, Beyer, Al-Dakhil, Roberts, Berge, Cullen, Koleosho, Vitinho, Foster, Amdouni.
Subs: Cork, Gudmundsson, Brownhill, Manuel, Redmond, Ekdal, Zaroury, Bruun Larsen, Muric
Tactical fluidity and flexibility have become the hallmark of City under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola.
And that adaptability is set to be a feature once again tonight at Turf Moor.
With Ederson back as the familiar figure in goal it looks like he will be protected by a back four of right back Kyle Walker, with Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji paired centrally and Rico Lewis at left back though the teenager could also operate further forward in midfield too with City deploying a back three instead.
Rodrigo looks set to be the holding midfielder with skipper Kevin De Bruyne, starting his first game since the Champions League final, and Bernardo Silva alongside him in the all-important engine room.
Up front Erling Haaland is set to be joined by Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden in a powerful looking attacking triumvirate.
City boast a formidable record in terms of Premier League openers over the past decade or so.
We have won our opening league game in 12 of the last 14 seasons.
The sole two exceptions to that impressive record have both come against Tottenham Hotspur.
City drew 0-0 against Tottenham in our 2010 opener and we were edged out 1-0 by Spurs in the inaugural game of the 2021/22 campaign.
Another successful result in East Lancashire tonight would be the perfect way to kick-start the new league campaign.
City of course need no reminding as to the stature and impact of Clarets boss Vincent Kompany, a bona fide Club legend thanks to his 11 incredible years as a player at the Etihad between 2008 and 2019.
After leaving City in May of 2019, Kompany has subsequently gone on to carve out a superb reputation as a manager, initially in his native Belgium with Anderlecht and more latterly at Turf Moor.
Having taken charge at Burnley in the summer of 2022 following their relegation from the Premier League, Kompany – with the assistance of another former City favourite in the shape of assistant manager Craig Bellamy – guided the Clarets straight back to the top-flight in thrilling fashion.
Burnley won the Championship in emphatic style finishing the season 10 points clear of second place.
Former City youngster James Trafford also starts for the Clarets.
Now comes an acid test in the form of a Premier League opener against the Treble winners.
STATS AND FACTS
Burnley have won one of their last 23 league matches against City (D6, L16), losing each of the last eight by an aggregate score of 26-1.
City have claimed 11 consecutive victories versus the Clarets in all competitions, scoring 40 goals and conceding one.
Burnley have won their opening game in two of their eight Premier League seasons (D1, L5), winning 3-2 at Chelsea in 2017 and 3-0 at home to Southampton in 2019.
The Clarets’ only home league loss last season (W16, D6) was a 2-1 defeat by QPR in April, which came after they had secured promotion.
However, they have lost five of their last eight top-flight matches at Turf Moor.
Burnley have failed to score a goal in the three Premier League matches they have played on a Friday (D1, L2).
They have not received a red card in any of their 152 Premier League home matches.
Vincent Kompany will become the first Belgian to manage in the Premier League. No Burnley boss has won their first match in the competition with the Clarets.
City are vying to become the first English team to win four consecutive top-flight titles.
Only once before has a team scored the opening goal in a Premier League season and gone on to win the competition.
Liverpool did so in 2019-20, although the first goal in their 4-1 win against Norwich was actually a Grant Hanley own goal.
This is the first time the reigning Premier League champions have been involved in the first match of the season since 2016, when Leicester lost 2-1 at newly promoted Hull City.
City’s last Premier League match on a Friday was in May 2021, when they won 4-3 at Newcastle courtesy of a Ferran Torres hat-trick.
Pep Guardiola has won 15 league and cup games against Burnley – the only side he has better record against is Arsenal (16 victories).
Erling Haaland – who scored twice in City’s opening Premier League fixture at West Ham last season – netted a hat-trick in his only previous game against Burnley, a 6-0 win in last season’s FA Cup quarter-finals