By 90Min
December 22, 2017

Runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City welcome Bournemouth to the Etihad Stadium, keen to extend their winning streak to an astounding 17 matches.

Pep Guardiola's side have been phenominal this season, drawing only one league fixture thus far, opening up an 11 point gap at the top of the table.

FBL-ENG-LCUP-LEICESTER-MAN CITY

The Citizens' push for an unprecedented quadruple remains on course after scraping past Leicester in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

Despite being taken to a penalty shootout at the King Power, Guardiola's men kept their nerve as their quest for domestic domination continues.

In contrast, Bournemouth slipped to a late defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, as Eddie Howe's search for form continues.

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The Cherries have failed to win in their past six Premier League outings, and travel to a side that haven't been beaten domestically this campaign.

With all eyes on City during this impressive run, Guardiola will be keen to keep his players focused as they look to punish any slip-ups from their title rivals.


Classic Encounter

These two sides have only ever met seven times despite their long histories. The Citizens have taken the spoils in six of those clashes, handing out some thrashings in the process.

The tightest and perhaps most exciting game the two have contested came earlier this season, as City triumphed with a 2-1 win at the Vitality Stadium.

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The Cherries took an early lead on a sun-drenched afternoon by the seaside, full-back Charlie Daniels firing the hosts into the lead, before Gabriel Jesus levelled eight minutes later.

Both sides threatened to a grab a winner in the second half, Josh King and Nicolas Otamendi both striking the woodwork for their respective sides.

The winner eventually did come, and in dramatic fashion. Raheem Sterling's deflected effort sparked wild scenes seven minutes into stoppage time, with Sterling subsequently sent off for his over exuberant celebrations. 


Key Battle

Kevin De Bruyne vs Andrew Surman


The Citizens have destroyed all in their path so far this season, with Everton the only side to come away from a Premier League match with anything other than a defeat this season.

Much of City's success can be attributed to the performances of Kevin De Bruyne. Alongside the mercurial David Silva, De Bruyne has been a revelation for Pep Guardiola this season, producing dominating performances in the heart of midfield.

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The Belgian has scored six goals and contributed eight assists this season, but his authority on games has been far greater than the stats may suggest.

Tasked with stifling the space for De Bruyne to operate in is likely to be Andrew Surman. The 31-year old has missed only two Premier League games this season, and is seen as one of Eddie Howe's more reliable performers.

The midfielder often sits in front of the back four, acting as a screen for his centre-backs when Bournemouth are on the attack. If Bournemouth are to have any modicum of success on Saturday, it is likely to stem from Surman breaking up play in the middle of the park.


Team News

Pep Guardiola could be facing a selection dilemma, with Eliaquim Mangala a doubt. The central defender suffered a head injury last time out, and faces a race against time to be fit.

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The Citizens boss is already without John Stones, and Vincent Kompany is again expected to be sidelined. Midfield ace David Silva is likely to miss out again, having returned to Spain for personal reasons last week.

Jermain Defoe and Harry Arter are doubts for the visitors, after both picked up injuries in the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Wednesday.


Defoe was forced to come off after sustaining an ankle injury following a tackle by Chelsea youngster Ethan Ampadu, while Arter hobbled off in the second half with a calf problem.

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Eddie Howe will be hoping Charlie Daniels and Josh King are fit to travel after both came off injured against Liverpool last weekend.


Predicted Manchester City Lineup: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Delph, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Sterling, Sane, Aguero.

Predicted Bournemouth Lineup: Begovic, Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels, L. Cook, Surman, Ibe, Gosling, Stanislas, Wilson.


Prediction

Manchester City come into this fixture as overwhelming favourites, with few expecting anything other than a comfortable home win.

The hosts have scored 32 goals in their nine home Premier League games this season, and have scored nine times in their last two home meetings against Bournemouth.

The visitors are on a dreadful run of form, and despite injury problems in defence, it's hard not to see the Citizens overwhelming their opponents in attack.


Manchester City 4-1 Bournemouth

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