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Man City start EPL title defence against Kompany’s Burnley

AP – Manchester City will begin their latest English Premier League title defence against Burnley, a promoted team managed by City great Vincent Kompany.

The opening round of the season also contains a match between two of the league’s so-called “Big Six” as Chelsea – with a new manager on board in Mauricio Pochettino – hosts Liverpool.

City’s trip to Turf Moor will start the season on August 11 – and on a Friday night – and it’s laden with narrative because of the presence of Kompany, who spent 11 years (2008 to 2019) at the club and has a statue outside the team’s Etihad Stadium.

Kompany, who was City captain for eight years and won four Premier League titles, led Burnley back into the top division in his first season as a manager in English football.

He has already faced City as a Burnley manager and it didn’t turn out to be such a happy occasion, with his team getting thrashed 6-0 in the FA Cup quarter-finals in March.

City’s early season schedule looks relatively benign – the champion also plays promoted Sheffield United and host Fulham and Nottingham Forest in their first six games – before a tough-looking October when City play Arsenal (October 7) and Manchester United (October 28) away either side of hosting Brighton.

Arsenal, which ran City surprisingly close in the title race last season, begins the campaign with matches against Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace and then Fulham.

Manchester City’s goalkeeper Ederson and defender Ruben Dias. PHOTO: AFP