Manchester City will look to hold on to their eleven point lead at the top of the table, when they host a struggling Bournemouth side at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The Citizens are coming off a tense victory against Leicester City in their midweek EFL Cup tie. A largely second string City side needed penalties to come out victorious, after Jamie Vardy canceled out Bernardo Silva’s goal in the 97th minute with a penalty.
Bournemouth on the other hand, lost to Chelsea in their midweek EFL Cup tie. Despite putting up a decent fightback to equalise in the 89th minute, Alvaro Morata scored the winner only minutes later to send the Cherries crashing out of the competition.
As things stand, Manchester City have a massive 11 point lead on the top of the table over second placed Manchester United on the Premier League table. Bournemouth on the other hand, are languishing in 16th place behind, level on points with 17th place Stoke City and a mere point away from the relegation zone.
Tactics & Team News
David Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Phil Foden are expected to miss out on this tie with injuries. Guardiola had made a number of changes to his squad for their midweek match against Leicester City, and we will likely see a number of key players return to the starting XI.
Ederson will likely come back into the starting XI ahead of Claudio Bravo, with Fabian Delph, Nicholas Otamendi, Vincent Kompany and Kyle Walker all coming back in defence. Mangala could retain his place in defence, but Kompany has returned to near full fitness, and may start ahead of the Frenchman.
Ilkay Gundogan is expected to hold his place in midfield, with Fernandinho and Kevin de Bruyne coming in place of Yaya Toure and Phil Foden. In attack, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling will likely come in for Brahim Diaz and Bernardo Silva on the left and right wings respectively and Sergio Aguero is expected to come back into the squad and lead the line ahead of Gabriel Jesus.
Probable Starting XI(4-3-3): Ederson; Kyle Walker, Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi, Fabian Delph; Kevin de Bruyne, Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan; Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane
Harry Arter, Joshua King and Charlie Daniels are all doubts for this tie. Jermain Defoe is unlikely to feature, after limping off against Chelsea in their midweek EFL Cup tie with an ankle injury. A number of changes are expected in Eddie Howe’s side for tonight’s clash at the Etihad.
Asmir Begovic is expected to come into the starting XI and replace Artur Boruc in goal. Steve Cook, Adam Smith and Simon Francis are expected to retain their places in defence and be joined by Nathan Ake and Charlie Daniels, forming a 5-man-defence.
Harry Arter is expected to start in midfield once again, despite picking up a knock against Chelsea. He and Andrew Surman are likely to be joined by Lewis Cook in midfield. Calum Wilson is almost certain to start, alongside either Joshua King or Benik Afobe.
Probable Starting XI(4-2-3-1): Asmir Begovic; Adam Smith, Steve Cook, Simon Francis, Nathan Ake, Charlie Daniels; Lewis Cook, Andrew Surman, Harry Arter; Calum Wilson, Joshua King
- Bournemouth have won only 7 games this entire season.
- Manchester City have scored a minimum of 2 goals in their last 11 Premier League matches.
- Bournemouth’s last victory was 8 games ago, against Huddersfield in the Premier League.
- Manchester City have lost only 1 of their 27 matches across all competitions this season, a 2-1 loss to Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League.
- Manchester City have beaten Bournemouth in their last 5 matches across all competitions.
Bournemouth Asian Handicap +3.0 vs Manchester City @ 1.700
Player To Watch
Manchester City: Sergio Aguero
The Argentine is expected to come back into the squad after being left out against Leicester City. He’s been in fantastic form this season once again, despite having to compete a lot of the time with Gabriel Jesus. He’s been involved in 16 goals in 19 games this season and will surely be looking to add more to that tally against the Cherries.
Manchester City 4-0 AFC Bournemouth
While they do have a few injuries to deal with in their ranks, City should have no trouble in brushing aside Eddie Howe’s side with a comprehensive victory. Bournemouth are yet to win a game since November, while City haven’t lost in any domestic competition this season.
The Cherries also have a number of prospective absentees to deal with and that isn’t going to make things any easier when they come up against the current league leaders. They did put in a good performance against City back in August, but Guardiola’s men will be wary of the danger that their visitors pose. Hence, we predict a comfortable victory for the Citizens.