Manchester City return to Premier League action on Monday night in the south of England against AFC Bournemouth, looking for a third consecutive league victory for the first time since December and waiting on the weekend's results to see if three points against the Cherries will be enough to keep City in the race for a top four finish and, who knows, the title.
City will be facing Bournemouth for only the fourth time in Premier League history. The Cherries are playing only their second top-flight campaign ever, and they don't exactly look forward to playing against the Sky Blues: City absolutely destroyed them in all three meetings, scoring 13 goals and conceding just one.
It was against Bournemouth that City played perhaps their best football under Pep Guardiola earlier this season. The corresponding fixture happened last September, during City's 10-game winning streak to start the season, and the Citizens won 4-0 at the Etihad playing some unbelievable stuff. They scored all types of goals, via set pieces, counter-attacking sequences and slow build-up play that led to some quality scores after 20 or 30 passes.
City were simply amazing that day, and Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe expects a similar type of challenge on Monday, which means his players cannot fear City's quality and will have to play at a top level to beat Pep's men:
"We're going to need to be very good this week to get anything against City. We respect their players but we can't be fearful. The times we've played Manchester City they've been excellent. We've aspired to play at their level and the challenge is to match them."
Source: Sky Sports
Eddie Howe is one of the most promising manager in English football, and he always wants his teams to play attractive football, looking to attack and score goals thanks to good passing and movement. Bournemouth are in a tough run of form and concede goals at an alarming rate, but Howe will not negotiate his style. He's got some Pep in him.
Guardiola was very complimentary of Howe and the Cherries when they played last September, and he'll probably enjoy Monday's match again.