Apr 2, 2016 at 3pm UK at ​Dean Court
Man CityManchester City
FT(HT: 0-3)
Fernando (7'), de Bruyne (12'), Aguero (19'), Kolarov (93')
Fernando (89')

Preview: Bournemouth vs. Manchester City

Sports Mole previews Saturday afternoon's Premier League match between Bournemouth and Manchester City at the Vitality Stadium.

Manchester City will be aiming to get their season back on track when they return to action away at Bournemouth this weekend.

While City have flagged recently, the Cherries should be full of confidence as they have all but secured safety in what is their first season in England's top flight.


Joshua King celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Bournemouth and Swansea City on March 12, 2016© Getty Images

The Cherries are up in 13th, 12 points clear of the bottom three and two adrift of the magical 40-point mark, having collected 10 points out of a possible 15 in their last five matches.

They won three in a row in March to edge themselves away from the relegation scrap but last time out suffered defeat, going down 3-0 at Tottenham Hotspur to make the aggregate scoreline between the two this season 8-1 in Spurs' favour.

Eddie Howe praised the North Londoners before the match and again had to concede after the contest that Spurs are the best team his side have had to face in the top flight this season.

Spurs (36) are one one of just two teams, along with leaders Leicester (37), that have earned more points than Bournemouth (28) since December 1.

Although proved far too good for Bournemouth in both matches this season, the title hopefuls have reportedly been impressed with what they have seen from Cherries winger Matt Ritchie and could make a move for him this summer.

Recent form: LDWWWL

Man City

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart stays down injured during the Manchester derby on March 20, 2016© Getty Images

City's chances of winning the title appear to be over following a poor run of form in the league. Manuel Pellegrini's men have won just one of their last six and that was against rockbottom Villa.

They have failed to score in their last two, being held to a goalless draw by Norwich City before losing at home to neighbours Manchester United in the derby before the international break. City also drew a blank in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Dynamo Kiev, although the hard work had been done in the first leg.

Their sluggish run domestically means that City are now as close to Swansea City down in 15th as they are to leaders Leicester City (15 points), and there is a real danger that they may miss out on a top-four finish if they do not get their act together.

They are just a point above both West Ham United and Man United and dropping further down the standings would be a disaster ahead of Pep Guardiola's arrival as manager this summer.

Away form has been their biggest problem of late, with Pellegrini's side managing just six goals in their last 10 Premier League away games.

Should they fail to find the net tomorrow, it would be the first time since March 2008 that they have gone three league games without a goal.

Last time out against Man United, Martin Demichelis was beaten easily by Marcus Rashford for the winner and then appeared to shove the young striker in the box, although no penalty was given, and it has since got worse for the veteran Argentine centre-back after he was charged by the Football Association over alleged betting breaches.

Recent Premier League form: LLLWDL
Recent form (all competitions): WLWDDL

Team News

Willy Caballero saves Adam Lallana's penalty during the League Cup final between Liverpool and Manchester City on February 28, 2016© AFP

With the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain just around the corner on Wednesday, Manuel Pellegrini is unlikely to take any risks and should start Willy Caballero in goal with Joe Hart possibly returning in midweek.

Pellegrini may also decide to rotate his full-backs and keep first-choice duo Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy fresh for midweek, meaning that Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov may start at the Vitality Stadium.

Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany and Raheem Sterling are definitely out, while the match should come too soon for Samir Nasri and Kevin De Bruyne, who both returned to training this week.

Bournemouth duo Joshua King and Harry Arter both withdrew from international duty with Norway and the Republic of Ireland respectively, but they may feature this weekend, although King is the more likely of the two to keep his place.

Callum Wilson is back in training and may feature again before the end of the season, but Howe also revealed that Tyrone Mings has suffered a slight setback in his recovery from a double knee ligament rupture, meaning that he might not be fit in time for next term.

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Boruc; Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels; Ritchie, Gosling, Surman, Gradel; King, Afobe

Man City possible starting lineup:
Caballero; Zabaleta, Otamendi, Mangala, Kolarov; Navas, Fernandinho, Fernando, Silva; Bony, Aguero

Head To Head

Bournemouth and Manchester City have played seven times in the league, with the Citizens winning five and losing none.

Bournemouth have failed to score in all three previous competitive games in which they have hosted Manchester City.

The Cherries' goal came from their only shot on target when they lost 5-1 to City back in October, a match in which Sterling scored a hat-trick.

The Dugout Podcast

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We say: Bournemouth 1-2 Man City

Even with one eye on the trip to PSG, City will be desperate to get some points on the board and might just edge out a Bournemouth side who can afford to take their foot off the gas a little.

Who will come out on top, Bournemouth or Man City?

Man City
Man City
 AFC Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson in action during the Pre season friendly match between Exeter City and AFC Bournemouth at St James Park on July 18, 2015
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