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Bournemouth logo
Premier League | Gameweek 26
Feb 24, 2024 at 5.30pm UK
Vitality Stadium
Manchester City logo

0 - 1
Man City

Cook (38'), Senesi (70')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Foden (24')
Silva (87'), De Bruyne (90+6')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Bournemouth and Manchester City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Seeking to close the four-point gap to the Premier League summit, reigning champions Manchester City travel to the Vitality Stadium to face Bournemouth on Saturday evening.

The two teams meet for the first time since November 4 when the Citizens cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Cherries at the Etihad Stadium.

Match preview

Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola before the match on January 21, 2024© Reuters

After suffering that heavy defeat at the Etihad, Bournemouth hit a purple patch towards the end of last year and claimed six victories from seven league matches up to Boxing Day. However, the Cherries have since failed to win any of their last six top-flight fixtures and are yet to celebrate success in 2024.

Andoni Iraola's side were on course to claim maximum points at St James' Park last weekend as they were leading 2-1 against Newcastle United courtesy of goals from Dominic Solanke and Antoine Semenyo heading into stoppage time, but former Cherries winger Matt Ritchie came off the substitutes' bench to net a 92nd-minute equaliser and rescue a point for the Magpies in a 2-2 draw.

Only Burnley (two) have collected fewer points than Bournemouth (three) since the turn of the year, and while their bid to secure a top-half finish has become all the more difficult, there are no immediate fears of entering the relegation picture as they sit 13th in the Premier League table and eight points clear of the bottom three.

Although victories have been hard to come by for Bournemouth, finding the back of the net has not been an issue for Iraola's men as they have scored at least once in 15 of their last 16 league games, netting 28 goals in total – the only exception being a 4-0 home defeat to leaders Liverpool last month.

Bournemouth will hope to make the net ripple again on Saturday as they endeavour to end their 19-game winless league run against Man City – the longest such streak without success against an opponent in English Football League history.

Manchester City's Erling Haaland celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on February 20, 2024© Reuters

Three days after salvaging a precious point in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea, Man City were made to work for maximum points in a slender 1-0 home victory over a spirited Brentford outfit on Tuesday night.

A solid Bees backline was initially difficult to break down for the Citizens in front of an anxious Etihad crowd, until talisman Erling Haaland capitalised on a slip from Norwegian compatriot Kristoffer Ajer to race through on goal and coolly slot what proved to be the match-winner beyond Mark Flekken in the 71st minute.

Pep Guardiola's side have extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 10 matches, winning eight times and scoring 22 goals during this period, but they remain second in the table and now sit four points adrift of leaders Liverpool, who have played a game more after coming from behind to beat Luton Town 4-1 on Wednesday.

Aware that Liverpool are focused on this weekend's EFL Cup final, Man City are keen to take advantage of their game in hand and reduce the gap at the summit to one point with an important victory over a Bournemouth side whom they have had plenty of success against over the years.

Indeed, the Citizens – seeking to win a record fourth successive Premier League title this season – have won all of their previous 13 top-flight meetings with the Cherries by an aggregate score of 44-7 – the best 100% record that any team has over another in English top-flight history.

Bournemouth Premier League form:

Bournemouth form (all competitions):

Manchester City Premier League form:

Manchester City form (all competitions):

Team News

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring against Newcastle United on January 13, 2024© Reuters

Bournemouth are still having to cope without Tyler Adams, Max Aarons (both thigh), Ryan Fredericks (calf), James Hill (ankle) and Darren Randolph (illness), but Romain Faivre is available for selection after missing last weekend's trip to St James' Park through illness.

Philip Billing will serve the final game of his three-match suspension this weekend, so Ryan Christie and Lewis Cook could retain their places in midfield, as Alex Scott battles with Justin Kluivert for a start in the number 10 role.

Luis Sinisterra scored at the Etihad earlier this season and could replace either Marcus Tavernier or Semenyo on the flanks, while Solanke is set to lead the line and will be searching for his 15th league goal of the campaign.

As for Man City, Jack Grealish (muscle) and Josko Gvardiol (ankle) are both set to remain sidelined with injuries, while Guardiola has confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne will have his hamstring issue assessed ahead of kickoff after not being risked in midweek.

Guardiola may be tempted to stick with the same four-man defence after the Citizens kept just their third clean sheet in the last 15 league matches against Brentford, but Nathan Ake will be pushing to start against his former club along with academy graduate Rico Lewis.

Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes will be hoping for a recall in centre-midfield, while Jeremy Doku – who scored one and provided four assists in the reverse fixture with the Cherries – could replace Oscar Bobb to start on the left flank.

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Neto; Smith, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Kelly; Christie, Cook; Semenyo, Kluivert, Sinisterra; Solanke

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Akanji, Ake; Rodri, Kovacic; Foden, Alvarez, Doku; Haaland

SM words green background

We say: Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester City

Bournemouth have already been thrashed 4-0 at home by both Arsenal and Liverpool this season and their miserable record against Man City does not bode well ahead of Saturday's contest.

The Cherries will back themselves to find the net against a Citizens defence that has been far from watertight this season, but Guardiola's title-chasing side should ultimately have few problems outscoring their opponents en route to claiming three important points.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates with manager Pep Guardiola after the match on January 13, 2024
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