For all the inevitable teeth-gnashing around VAR last weekend, the denial of Manchester City's late potential winner against Tottenham Hotspur injected an extra element of urgency into their meeting with Bournemouth on Sunday.
While the Cherries picked up three points by catching Aston Villa cold and scoring twice in the early stages to win 2-1 at Villa Park, perfectionist City chief Pep Guardiola saw his side contentiously cede their first two points of the probable title race.
That leaves these sides unbeaten and level on points in the early table ahead of a meeting that is far from a foregone conclusion given the hosts' unpredictable form against the Premier League's top sides at the Vitality Stadium.
Eddie Howe's side will hope that win at Villa represents a corner turned in terms of results this calendar year, having won only three times in all competitions beforehand.
Their frustrating opening day draw with Sheffield United, another newly promoted team, may have given Bournemouth an extra incentive to race out of the blocks last week, knowing that City awaited them this Sunday.
Howe has justifiably picked out Raheem Sterling, whose four strikes so far mean he has averaged a goal every 45 minutes, as the dangerman.
The England striker has scored eight times in his last seven encounters with Bournemouth, including a 90th-minute winner at the Vitality Stadium in August 2017.
Bournemouth have recorded two wins against the big six on a Sunday, beating Liverpool and Arsenal.
History suggests they will need to score at least twice if they are to repeat those achievements. In 21 previous Premier League games on a Sunday, they have conceded 56 goals.
Aside from an injury time win against a Tottenham Hotspur side who had been down to 10 men for more than 40 minutes last April, Bournemouth's current home run is poor.
That victory remains their only home win in seven, stretching back to an impressive 4-0 win over Chelsea at the end of January.
Recent form: WD
City were brought back down to technology-adjudicated earth last Saturday after a thumping 5-0 win at West Ham United in their opening game that was also punctuated by the influence of VAR.
Just as they did in their Champions League quarter-final away goals win at the Etihad Stadium last season, Spurs refused to be shaken off, equalising twice in a game in which City held the lead for less than 25 minutes.
There was a hint of disquiet on the touchline, too, where Sergio Aguero visibly expressed his fury at being substituted before later hugging Guardiola in the mistaken belief that Gabriel Jesus had found a late winner.
Temperamental tiffs notwithstanding, they remain on a superb away run that has yielded nothing but wins in the league since a surprise setback at Newcastle in January that helped to make their memorable title race with Liverpool so exciting.
Trying to identify flaws in that record on the road is a distinct case of clutching at straws, but the nearest they came to dropping points - which, ultimately, would have cost them the title - was a 1-0 win at Bournemouth at the start of March.
Ominously for their opponents, Guardiola has had the rare luxury of an eight-day gap between matches in which to indulge his need to fine-tune tactics on the training pitch.
Kevin De Bruyne, sorely missed in midfield for City during his injury problems last season, has provided three assists in their opening two matches and looked a constant threat against Spurs.
Captain David Silva will make his 400th appearance for City should he play against Bournemouth, leading Guardiola to heap praise upon the Spaniard this week.
Recent form: DW
Bournemouth continue to have a lengthy injury list ahead of their toughest test of the season so far, with David Brooks, Arnaut Danjuma, Dan Gosling, Simon Francis, Lloyd Kelly and Junior Stanislas all out of contention.
Defender Lewis Cook has returned to training but will need ample time to fully regain match fitness following a long-term knee injury.
Howe has seen his options reduced by numerous injuries since the latter part of last season, admitting that his squad "can't take" any more absences.
Ever determined, Howe says the versatility of many of his players is proving key, and saluted Dominic Solanke's impact after the striker came off the bench against Villa.
City also have a defender nearing a return in the form of John Stones, whose thigh injury means he will just miss out on the trip to Bournemouth.
There is better news on Oleksandr Zinchenko, with the midfielder-turned-full-back available after appearing to be limping in the final stages against Spurs.
Leroy Sane is not expected to return until well into the new year as the Germany winger continues to recover from rupturing his cruciate ligament.
John Stones is close to returning from a thigh injury but will not feature along with long-term absentees Sane and Benjamin Mendy.
Left-back Mendy was back in training for the first time this season as he steps up his recovery from the injury problems that restricted his part in last season's campaign to a mere 15 appearances.
The France international, returning from successive knee injuries and absent from the club's pre-season tour of Asia, will not be risked at Bournemouth.
Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Smith, Steve Cook, Ake, Daniels; Surman, Lerma; Harry Wilson, King, Fraser; Callum Wilson
Man City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, David Silva; Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Sterling
Head To Head
The fact that Bournemouth have only consistently appeared in the top flight during the era of City's dominance means their record against these opponents makes for ugly reading.
City have won all eight Premier League matches between the two, conceding only three goals and giving Guardiola a perfect record of six victories in this fixture.
Before then, City maintained an unbeaten record in their previous meetings, which all took place in the third tier between 1987 and 1999 and resulted in four wins and four clean sheets for the Citizens, as well as two draws.
Bournemouth have only lost to City by a goal on both of the most recent occasions when they have hosted them. Charlie Daniels' early strike gave them their first Premier League goal against City two years ago, only for Jesus to level eight minutes later before Sterling had the final say late on.
While the hosts deserved credit for keeping City to a second-half Riyad Mahrez goal on their last visit, the hosts had less than 20% of possession and went without a shot on goal.
We say: Bournemouth 0-2 Man City
City are almost certain to have fire in their bellies after being denied against Tottenham, and Guardiola's unconvincing assurance that he accepts that VAR decision will have been turned into a call for his players to right the injustice on Sunday.
His side's excellent record at Bournemouth suggests that the Vitality Stadium - where Howe wants the home fans to create an intimidating atmosphere - is anything but unsettling for a group of players used to grander surroundings.
Expect City to show the benefits of their break and return to winning ways, albeit against more successful resistance than they experienced at West Ham on their first away trip.
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