Manchester City travel to the south coast of England to play AFC Bournemouth on Monday. The last time City played Bournemouth, Kevin De Bruyne led a Sergio Agüero-less team to a 4-0 victory at the Etihad. De Bruyne scored an under-the-wall free kick, and City proved to be the dominant force across the 90 minutes.
Monday's game will possibly mark Agüero’s return to the starting lineup. Gabriel Jesus’ addition to the team saw Agüero on the bench for the last couple of matches, but it has been reported that he and Jesus could start together for the first time.
With the two strikers possibly starting, it will be interesting to see what formation Pep Guardiola will choose to play, and the 4-3-3 stands out as the recent favorite. Whatever the formation is, though, City’s gameplan will definitely be to attack. A weak Cherries defense will struggle to stop City's offensive stars.
Here’s a look at a few players who could make an impact on this game.
The Bournemouth captain will face tons of pressure from the City attack, and he is expected to lead the Cherries defense with Charlie Daniels out with a knee injury. Additionally, Simon Francis had to leave the 6-3 shootout against Everton last week with a hamstring injury, and he is doubtful as well.
Bournemouth's defense has struggled with the departure of Nathan Aké, as they have allowed 13 goals in four Premier League matches without him. Cook must play the game of his life to earn Bournemouth any points.
Fernandinho made his first start for City since coming back from suspension last week against Swansea, but he appeared in an unfamiliar position: right back. While many were surprised to see him playing away from the midfield, he did well in his new tactical role.
Personally, I would rather see Fernandinho in the holding midfield spot, but it is almost impossible for him to if Pep plays a 4-3-3. The Brazilian is still likely to play a massive role in midfield and defense, no matter where he plays.
After Callum Wilson’s season-ending injury, the sudden lack of depth at the striker position forced Joshua King to lead the line. The Norwegian usually works in midfield, but he proved he can play up top with a brace against Everton.
King has scored five goals this season, and he has helped Bournemouth all season. However, he might have to score more than two goals to help his side win any points against City.
After a shaky start with City during the first half of the season, Sané has found his form recently, leading the attack off the wing. He has scored three goals in his last five games, and is the second best teenager in the City lineup today (the other is Gabriel Jesus, of course).
Sané’s third man runs, dribbling ability and crosses make him a devastating attacking force, and he has found his niche within the City system. Don’t expect him to slow down against a frail Bournemouth defense.