Manchester City return to the Etihad Stadium to face Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon, knowing that a high-scoring win will take them back to the Premier League summit.
City got back to their lethal best last weekend by destroying United 3-0 and, in fairness, it could have been many more as the blues threatened to destroy the Stretford Rangers completely.
They face a Bournemouth side who got their first win of the season last weekend, but only just - Burnley had a goal disallowed for offside after a ridiculously long delay by VAR. Bournemouth were the first team to prevent Erling Haaland from scoring last season, but the blues still ran out 4-0 winners and City are odds-on favourites to make it 22 straight home wins in all competitions.
But do the stats reflect any kind of superiority for one team, or are they fairly even? To give you a clue, if you’re a Bournemouth fan, look away now.
An Abundance of City Wins
These two teams have a relatively short history and met for the first time in all competitions as recently as 1987. Saturday’s match will be the 11th time they have met in Manchester, and City have won all but one of the previous home fixtures.
The only match where the blues have failed to win came in May 1989 when City needed a win to clinch automatic promotion to the First Division. It was the final home game of the season and a goal from Trevor Morley was sandwiched between two Paul Moulden goals as City went in at half-time 3-0 up. Back came Bournemouth in the second half with two goals, before Luther Blissett scored a late penalty to snatch a point.
Goals Galore From the Blues
Since that match in 1989, City have won every meeting and by a considerable margin. They faced each other again in September 1998, where the blues ran out 2-1 winners, but it was the Premier League, City have knocked in the goals. Four times in seven matches, the blues have hit at least four and going one better in 2015, winning 5-1.
In total, City have scored 32 goals to Bournemouth’s 8, and facing an in-form Haaland and World Cup winner Julian Alvarez, Bournemouth’s defence may not exactly be relishing facing City on Saturday.
In addition, the Cherries have never kept a clean sheet in Manchester - the only time they have prevented City from scoring was a 0-0 draw at Dean Court in February 1999. The blues have only kept four clean sheets themselves and must really do better this weekend.
City End Losing Streak Against Bournemouth
Going back to the 1988/89 season, Bournemouth were the opposition when City ended an incredible losing streak at home. The blues won 2-0 at Dean Court in December 88, however, a 3-1 defeat at home to Palace sparked a run of losing four straight league matches. A 2-0 win over the Cherries at Maine Road broke the home voodoo.
Anything for the Superstitious?
Sadly, there’s nothing that will have them watching from behind their hands this week. The two teams have never faced each other in Manchester and there’s no strange patterns or occurrences that will have their fingernails bitten to the core.
We can’t, though, leave them alone and the only thing we can think of is that, one day, Bournemouth will win at City. And, if Typical City turn up, you know, the one that is setting a new home win record, it might just be Saturday. Is that enough to have them quaking a little?