Burnley And Vincent Kompany Can Pour More Misery On Manchester United

Kompany knows all about upsetting the Red Devils
17:00, 22 Sep 2023

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany knows a little something about making life miserable for Manchester United. As captain of Manchester City, he led his side to four Premier League titles. By the time he left the Etihad Stadium in 2019, the Red Devils hadn’t won the league in six years. That run has extended to a decade now, with the Cityzens only losing one Premier League crown since Kompany departed.

While City are making football look easy again, winning five from five, United once again look way off the Premier League pace. Erik ten Hag’s side have lost three of their opening five games and even at this early stage, a title bid would require several miracles to pull off.

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Kompany is living a very different existence. The Burnley side he got promoted as manager last season have found the adjustment to top-flight life hard. While they only spent one season in the Championship following their 2021/22 season relegation, a lot has changed at the club. No longer the picture of 4-4-2 British steel they were under former manager Sean Dyche, the modern Clarets are a more forward-thinking bunch.

Kompany swept the Championship last season playing the sort of expansive football fans of his former club may be familiar with. While Kompany didn’t enact the exact Pep Guardiola blueprint, the influence was clear. This reflected in the signings too. Dyche had an eye for a veteran with something left or a lower league warhorse with a point to prove. Kompany, though, has favoured bringing in young stars with potential.

These have included highly-rated Man City youth goalkeeper James Trafford, 20-year-old Aston Villas midfielder Aaron Ramsey and Basel forward Zeki Amdouni. In fact, Burnley only paid a transfer fee for one player aged 25 or over this summer, buying Sander Berge from Sheffield United.

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This more progressive approach has led to a period of adjustment in the Premier League. The Clarets have just a single point so far this season, from a 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest. But their opposition has been tough. Tottenham Hotspur and Man City both defeated them, but those teams occupy first and second in the table at present. Aston Villa beat them too, but Unai Emery’s side are a tough proposition these days.

This is where Manchester United come in. The Red Devils will visit Turf Moor, giving Burnley home advantage on the day. With Ten Hag’s Reds at a low ebb, with injuries, poor form and off-pitch issues abound, now is the perfect time to play them. Kompany knows a thing or two about causing United problems. The hour is at hand when Burnley can prove they belong in the Premier League, by taking the scalp of one of its most high-profile teams.

While Kompany’s place at Turf Moor feels secure, with the rebuild at the club being done very much in his image, Ten Hag cannot boast the same security. While there is no indication he could be on his way out, questions are starting to be asked. The cracks in the facade could become chasms if Burnley beat United on the weekend. Hum-dinging 4-3 losses to Bayern are forgivable. Losses to newly-promoted teams who haven’t won a game are not.

Kompany faces an old enemy at the exact right time. Having done so much to establish blue supremacy in Manchester, now he can keep the red half of the city even further down the pecking order. It’ll take an almighty effort from his ambitious young side. But Kompany arrived at Manchester City in 2008. He is used to being an underdog.

burnley to beat man utd: 10/3*

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

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