Following Monday’s hard-fought draw with Everton at the Etihad, Manchester City return to action in the Premier League on Saturday’s early kickoff against AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
This is a fixture completely dominated by the Blues. Since Bournemouth’s promotion to the Premier League in 2015 the two sides have faced each other in four occasions, with City winning all four games by a combined score of 15-1. Raheem Sterling (5 goals and 1 assist) and Kevin De Bruyne (2 goals and 2 assists) have shined against the Cherries, and there’s a good chance the duo will start together on Saturday to improve their numbers.
Eddie Howe’s side lost their opening two matches in the league but are boosted by the League Cup win against Birmingham in midweek. It won’t be easy for the Cherries to get their first league point against City, but the game promises to be a difficult one for the Blues.
Can City keep their perfect league record against Bournemouth?
MATCH INFO, TV/STREAMING
Date/Time: Saturday, August 26, 2017, 12:30pm BST (UK), 7:30am ET, 4:30am PT (USA), 5pm IST (India)
Venue: Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, England
Referee: Mike Dean
Television: Sky Sports Main Event/Premier League (UK), NBCSN (USA), SuperSport 3 (Nigeria), Star Sports Select 1 (India), TSN2 (Canada)
Online streaming: Sky GO (UK), NBC Sports Live (USA), TSN GO (Canada), FuboTV (USA, 7-day free trial, click here to sign up)
(Listings via LiveSoccerTV)
The best piece of news given by Pep Guardiola in his pre-match press conference is that Benjamin Mendy is fit and will travel with the squad to Bournemouth. Pep says he doesn’t know if the Frenchman will play, but Mendy is ready to make his debut and could make a short cameo in the second half. Ilkay Gundogan is fit to play but will be in action with the u-23s before returning to the first team.
In terms of the starting lineup, one change is certain: Danilo will start on the right in place of the suspended Kyle Walker, and there’s a chance Raheem Sterling starts in place of one of the two strikers, and if that happens Gabriel Jesus will go to the bench since the Brazilian hasn’t been at his best in this young season.
Guardiola will likely keep the 5-3-2/3-1-4-2/3-5-2 formation for this game before the rotations start in September.
Manchester City (3-1-4-2)
Éderson; Kompany, Stones, Otamendi; Fernandinho; Danilo, De Bruyne, Silva, Sané; Sterling, Agüero
Begovic; Smith, Cook, Aké, Daniels; Fraser, Surman, Arter, Ibe; King; Afobe
City usually dominate Bournemouth, and this time won’t be different: 3-0 to the Blues.