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Preview: Manchester City vs. Bournemouth - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Premier League fixture between Manchester City and Bournemouth, including team news and predicted lineups.

Manchester City are in action for the first time since having their European ban overturned as they take on strugglers Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The Citizens have been cleared to compete in the Champions League next term and have already sealed a top-four finish in the Premier League, while Bournemouth are scrapping for their lives at the other end of the table.

Match preview

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League on July 11, 2020© Reuters

Pep Guardiola reiterated as recently as the weekend that he was confident City's two-year ban from competing in European competition for breaching financial fair play regulations would be overturned.

So that proved on Monday morning when the Court of Arbitration for Sport lifted the ban, freeing City to compete in the Champions League next season.

That should put an end to speculation over the future of Guardiola and star players such as Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne, with the latter previously admitting that he may consider moving on if the ban was upheld.

Focus can now turn to ending the 2019-20 season on a high as City battle for silverware on two fronts in the FA Cup and Champions League.

The Citizens lead Real Madrid 2-1 ahead of the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie and take on Arsenal in the semi-finals of the FA Cup on Saturday.

In terms of their Premier League campaign, it is now just a case of putting as many points on the board as possible, with back-to-back 5-0 wins - over Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion - ensuring City can now finish no lower than second.

Bournemouth players celebrate Dominic Solanke's goal against Leicester City in the Premier League on July 12, 2020© Reuters

Indeed, since officially losing their title to Liverpool a couple of weeks ago, City have won three out of four games and scored 14 unanswered goals in those victories.

The 1-0 away loss to Southampton during that run shows that they are not quite as formidable as last season, however, and that offers Bournemouth just a little hope ahead of this midweek clash.

The Cherries revived their survival hopes with a 4-1 victory over Leicester City on Sunday, capitalising on an incredible collapse by their opponents by scoring four times in the final 25 minutes.

That victory was Bournemouth's first in 10 matches since February 1 and moves them back to within three points of safety following wins for Watford and West Ham United on Saturday.

If it is momentum Eddie Howe is after, though, it is unlikely to come in the form of any sort of positive result at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Bournemouth have lost all nine Premier League meetings with City by an aggregate score of 28-4 - the best 100% record one opponent has against another in English top-flight history.

Manchester City's Premier League form: WLWLWW
Manchester City's form (all competitions): LWWLWW

Bournemouth's Premier League form: LLLLDW

Team News

Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring against Arsenal on June 17, 2020© Reuters

City's focus is undoubtedly on the two other cup competitions that they are still involved in, meaning that changes could be made here ahead of Saturday's FA Cup clash with Arsenal.

Indeed, Guardiola admitted as much on the back of the win over Brighton, suggesting that as many as six alterations may be on the cards if possible.

Sterling scored another hat-trick in that comfortable weekend victory and is among those expected to be given a breather, along with De Bruyne, Aymeric Laporte and Riyad Mahrez.

Joao Cancelo is also carrying a knock and is unlikely to be risked here, so Kyle Walker will continue to operate at right-back.

Bournemouth will have to make do without influential defender Nathan Ake for their remaining games after he limped off against Leicester.

Experienced centre-back Steve Cook is the favourite to slot in alongside Lloyd Kelly, with Simon Francis and Chris Mepham also carrying injuries.

Joshua King sat out the Leicester win with a hamstring complaint, but Dominic Solanke scored his first goals for the club and is ready to lead the line alongside Callum Wilson.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko; Gundogan, Fernandinho, D.Silva; Bernardo, Jesus, Foden

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Stacey, Cook, Kelly, Rico; Brooks, Billing, Lerma, Stanislas; Solanke, Wilson

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We say: Manchester City 4-0 Bournemouth

Bournemouth have taken four points from their last two matches and still have hope of avoiding the drop. City have scored 10 unanswered goals in their last two games, however, and they have an incredible record against the Cherries in the Premier League, so we can only see this game ending one way.


Who will win Wednesday's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Bournemouth?

Manchester City
Manchester City
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Bournemouth's Callum Wilson celebrates scoring their third goal on January 21, 2020
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rhs 2.0
2Manchester CityMan City382639102356781
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd391813867373067
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd381412123939054
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921

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