It’s Match Day 3 of the English Premier League as Bournemouth welcome the Premier League champions Manchester City to the south coast on Sunday, with a chance to be the first team to beat Pep Guardiola’s well-drilled side.
The hosts are faced with the most daunting of tasks but Eddie Howe and his charges would be hoping to make the most of the momentum they gained from their smash and grab win at Aston Villa last weekend.
The Cherries were bullied for the most part but showed a robustness at the back that went against the grain of their porous reputation as they earned a solid victory over Aston Villa.
However, the Citizens are a different kind of foe and Bournemouth’s defensive levels will have to be cranked up another few notches to keep Pep Guardiola’s City at arm’s length on Sunday.
City took four points, same as the Cherries, from their opening two Premier League fixtures, first whitewashing West Ham before a controversial late VAR call allowed Tottenham claim a point at the Etihad Stadium last week.
The Sky Blues are still the country’s most potent attacking outfit having registered seven goals in two games and racked up more attempts on goal on average (22) than any other team in the division – by some distance.
Bournemouth, since gaining promotion to the top flight in 2015, have faced Manchester City on eight separate occasions with the Citizens enjoying total dominance over their less illustrious foes.
Pep will seek to maintain that 100% win record against Bournemouth, while improving on the 25 goals rattled home in the process.
Manchester City’s 100% win record in 8 games against Bournemouth is the best in English top-flight history. City have won those 8 matches against the Cherries by an aggregate score of 25-3.
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 25, 2019
Man City have kept a clean sheet in 5 of their last 7 matches against Bournemouth in all competitions.
Bournemouth have kept just 7 clean sheets in their last 33 Premier League home matches since December 2017, a stat that would delight City’s attack to no end.
Man City have won their last 8 away matches in the Premier League.
Man City have kept a clean sheet in 6 of their last 8 away matches (Premier League).
Man City have scored at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 6 away matches (Premier League).
Man to watch
Raheem Sterling already has four goals in his first two Premier League starts of the season, having hit the ground running in 2019/20. The Cherries would be smart to pay close attention to the England international who tends to excel in games against them, with the former Liverpool star having netted 8 times in just 7 career appearances against the Cherries.
Leroy Sane and Benjamin Mendy miss out for Manchester City, while John Stones has a muscle issue and is also sidelined.
Oleksandr Zinchenko complained of cramp in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham, but Pep Guardiola has confirmed he is fine.
Gabriel Jesus may start in place of Sergio Aguero, while Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan could keep their places.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the welcome of Manchester City, but remains without no fewer than seven players.
Howe could name the same XI that started the 2-1 win at Aston Villa at the weekend.
That could see Philip Billing continue in midfield despite being hauled off at half time.