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Manchester City vs Bournemouth, 2016 Premier League: Preview, How to Watch, Predictions

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Welcome back, Premier League!

Manchester City Training Session and Press Conference Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images

The Premier League is back this weekend for Manchester City, with a visit from AFC Bournemouth to Etihad Stadium on Saturday. City lead the league with four wins from four games, are yet to drop points in all competitions and look incredibly strong already.

The players have had no problem in adapting to Pep Guardiola's style, and even though they are far away from playing the exact way his coach wants them to, they're playing beautiful football already and have deservedly won all seven matches in dominant fashion.

Bournemouth don't pose a great threat, and their defense isn't exactly strong. City scored nine goals in two games against the Cherries last season, and with an improved offense under Pep this season, the Sky Blues look like massive favorites to win again, very comfortably.

These are the games that might shock you, however. A massive underdog finding a way to win at the favorites' home has happened quite often in football history, and that film may repeat itself on Saturday. This is why this is a fun game to watch.


Date/Time: Saturday, September 17, 2016, 3pm BST (UK), 4pm CET (Europe), 10am ET, 7am PT (US), 6:30pm IST (India)

Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England

Referee: Jonathan Moss

TV listings: NBCSN (US), NBC Universo (US - Spanish), TSN4 (Canada), elsewhere

Online streaming: NBC Sports Live (US), elsewhere


Man City team news: David Silva is injured, Vincent Kompany is still not ready, Sergio Agüero is suspended. Any team missing these three players could be very worried about their chances in a game. Yet Guardiola has Ilkay Gundogan for Silva's spot, John Stones to play in place of Kompany, and Kelechi Iheanacho replacing Agüero. This season's squad is insane, and even if Guardiola decides to rest some players against Bournemouth, he's still able to line up quite a strong side that is able to play well and dispatch the Cherries.

Bournemouth team news: Eddie Howe is quite simply one of the best new mangers in England, and he has truly done a fantastic job last season to keep his side in the Premier League despite not having a strong squad and losing key players to long-term injuries. All of the key players are back, except for defender Tyronne Mings, who's close to returning from knee surgery.

Callum Wilson is finally back and scored a fantastic goal last weekend, and the young striker could surprise the City defense with his pace and scoring prowess. Raheem Sterling will meet his former Liverpool teammate, Jordon Ibe, and even though Ibe hasn't quite become the star Sterling is, he's still quick and dangerous, and will cause problems if given time and space.

Jack Wilshere joined Bournemouth on loan from Arsenal, but is still not fit to play 90 minutes, according to Eddie Howe, and will probably play in the second half. Wilshere is without a doubt the most talented player in this squad, and he played great football the last time he was at the Etihad with Arsenal last season.


PREDICTED LINEUPS

Man City (4-1-4-1)

Bravo; Sagna, Stones, Kolarov, Clichy; Fernandinho; Sané, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Nolito; Iheanacho

Bournemouth (4-4-2)

Boruc; Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels; Ibe, Arter, Surman, Stanislas; King, Wilson

SCORE PREDICTION

This could be a shocker, but City are in such great form and Guardiola is not known for underestimating his opponents and will treat this game as seriously as any other. City will dominate possession, and even though they might take a while to break down the Bournemouth defense, they'll eventually find the back of the net a few times. 4-0 City.