After suffering two back-to-back draws, Manchester City will be looking to rebound when they arrive at the Vitality stadium to play against AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday evening. The last time these two teams met against each other back in August, Man City thrashed the Cherries 4-0 in Etihad Stadium.
When Bournemouth defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 away from home last Saturday, they snapped a nine-game losing streak and earned their first three points since the World Cup break.
Marcus Tavernier’s deflection of a Dominic Solanke cross into the goal four minutes after halftime gave the Cherries their lone shot on goal and gave them their first away victory since September.
Gary O’Neil’s team has now won five of their previous four Premier League contests, climbing out of the relegation zone and into 18th position, one spot and one point ahead of West Ham United.
After the World Cup break, Bournemouth has struggled to score goals; Tavernier’s goal last weekend was one of only three league goals in eight games, the fewest of any side in the top division.
However, the Cherries have scored in five of their last eight meetings with Man City, giving them some hope of pulling off an upset on Saturday. Despite this, they have yet to defeat the Citizens in 17 league games, the longest winless streak by a team against another in English football league history.
When & Where?
Where: Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth.
When: Saturday, 25-02-2023.
Time: 5:30 PM (GMT).
Referee: Paul Tierney.
Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Neil Davies.
Fourth official: Gavin Ward.
VAR: Andy Madley.
Assistant VAR: Gary Beswick.
For Bournemouth, Lewis Cook (knee) and David Brooks (thigh) are still out with injuries, while Illia Zabarnyi (ankle), Lloyd Kelly (calf), Jordan Zemura (knock), Junior Stanislas (muscle), and Jordan Zemura (knock) are all nearing returns and will be evaluated before kickoff. Zabarnyi is still waiting to make his debut after joining in January.
O’Neil is not expected to make much, if any, adjustments to his starting lineup, with Jack Stephens expecting to start at center-back ahead of Chris Mepham for the third straight game.
Tavernier and Dango Ouattara will have competition from Jaidon Anthony for a spot on the wings, while Solanke is anticipated to keep his position as the center striker ahead of Kieffer Moore and Antoine Semenyo.
For Manchester City, John Stones is still recovering from a hamstring injury, but Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte, who missed the midweek tie with Leipzig due to sickness, should be ready to rejoin the matchday squad.
It is unclear if Guardiola would use the same four-man defense he employed against Leipzig or switch to starting just three natural defenders, with Bernardo Silva acting as a substitute left-back when necessary.
Jack Grealish, who has contributed to all seven of his Premier League goals thus far this season away from home (three goals and four assists), is anticipated to stay on the left wing, while Phil Foden will challenge Mahrez for the starting spot on the right.
Man City was forced to play out the same result in Germany against RB Leipzig in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 encounter on Wednesday after a poor 1-1 stalemate away against Nottingham Forest last weekend.
After a first half of utter control in possession, the Citizens were justifiably in ahead at the interval thanks to a goal by Riyad Mahrez in the 27th minute. Leipzig, to their credit, came out in the second half more determined and dangerous in the final third, and their efforts were rewarded when Josko Gvardiol headed in an equaliser in the 70th minute.
Despite the fact that Man City has only lost one of their past eight games overall, their recent road performance leaves much to be desired as they have lost five of their last six away games while also conceding in each of their previous five.
Guardiola and company, on the other hand, will feel confident about their chances of getting back on the winning track against Bournemouth on Saturday because they have an unblemished record in the Premier League against the Cherries, winning all 11 of their previous encounters and posting the highest win percentage in the history of the league.
Should the Gunners defeat Leicester City in Saturday’s 3 o’clock kickoff, the Citizens could find themselves five points behind leaders Arsenal before they even kick off at the Vitality Stadium, so earning their 200th Premier League away victory this weekend could be crucial in their quest to retain their top-flight title.
Bournemouth: Marcus Tavernier
The midfielder now has three goals and four assists for the team this season after scoring the game-winning goal against Wolves last week. Tavernier is a key player against Manchester City because of his talent of cutting inside and attempting long-range shots, which can prove lethal.
Manchester City: Erling Haaland
The striker is aiming to increase his goal-scoring tally to at least 27 goals in the Premier League so far this season. For the defense of the home team, Haaland will prove to be a difficult opponent to control. For the beast, Haaland is, he will be looking to set the ground on fire again.
Bournemouth Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neto; Smith, Stephens, Senesi, Zemura; Lerma, Billing; Ouattara, Traore, Tavernier; Solanke.
Manchester City Predicted Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Akanji, Ake; Gundogan, Rodri, Silva; Mahrez, Grealish, Haaland.