Manchester City return to Premier League action on Monday when they travel to the south coast of England for the last match of Matchweek 25 against AFC Bournemouth. For the third week of games in a row, the results around the Top 6 have been amazing for City, and they did take advantage in the first two instances.
When City dominated West Ham United 10 days ago, no other Top 6 team won, and when they beat Swansea City last Sunday, they were able to finish the week in third place. This weekend, Tottenham Hotspur lost, Chelsea drew and City have a real golden opportunity: a win against the Cherries puts the Citizens in second place, two points clear of Spurs and Arsenal and only eight points behind Chelsea.
The Sky Blues are playing better, Gabriel Jesus is on fire, and beating Bournemouth is not the toughest thing to do at the moment. Monday Night Football could be the platform for City to announce their title chase, and even though an eight-point gap is very hard to close, City have already done that once. The season finished with Sergio Agüero scoring THAT goal against Queens Park Rangers.
Yeah, anything can happen.
Since Ilkay Gundogan is out for the season and doesn't need to be counted as an actual absence, it's correct to say City have a fully fit squad to play Bournemouth. The entire team has been healthy since the FA Cup win at Crystal Palace, and it's no coincidence that having all players available helps Pep Guardiola to choose the best possible team for every new match.
Having a fully fit squad also makes it very hard to figure out who plays and who sits. Does Claudio Bravo stay on the bench? Does a healthy Vincent Kompany come back into the side? Is Fernandinho now a right-back? Will Nolito and Kelechi Iheanacho remain on the sidelines with no chance to get back in? Is Sergio Agüero going to the bench again while the unstoppable trio of Leroy Sané, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus continues to create hell for opposing defenses?
It's impossible to know, really. Guardiola loves to have these selection headaches, and although he's likely to start the same team that beat West Ham and Swansea, we never know until the lineups are out. One thing's for certain: if City repeat the performances from the West Ham match and the first half against the Swans, they're giant favorites against a leaky Bournemouth defense.
We're just starting to get really good right now, and Bournemouth are not really good right now. 4-1 City.