Pep Guardiola’s men smashed the Cherries 6-1 in the reverse meeting, and this is Andoni Iraola’s chance for revenge. We look ahead to the encounter with our Bournemouth vs Manchester City prediction and preview.

Bournemouth vs Manchester City Stats: The Quick Hits

  • Manchester City are backed as the overwhelming favourites by the Opta supercomputer, winning 72.0% of pre-match simulations against Bournemouth.
  • Man City have won all 13 of their Premier League games against Bournemouth – the best 100% win rate for one side against another in the competition’s history.
  • Having set up four goals in the reverse meeting, Jérémy Doku could become just the third Premier League player to assist five goals against one opponent in a single season.

Match Preview

After a minor blip at home to Chelsea, Manchester City only just managed to sneak past Brentford to remain in the three-horse Premier League title race alongside Liverpool and Arsenal, ahead of Saturday’s visit to Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

Pep Guardiola’s reigning English champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Chelsea on Matchday 25 but had little time to ponder their profligate failings, almost repeating the dose but sneaking to a 1-0 win over a resilient Brentford on Tuesday at the Etihad Stadium. That victory leaves Man City within four points of the league-leading Liverpool, who defeated Luton Town the following day and have played a game more, and one ahead of Arsenal heading into the weekend’s action.

Erling Haaland’s 70th-minute strike proved the difference against Thomas Frank’s Bees, who were led by an inspired Mark Flekken goalkeeping performance for the second time this month. Haaland proved to be inevitable though and the Norwegian talisman has now scored against all 21 teams he’s played in the Premier League, becoming just the second player to have faced more than one side and netted against all of them in the competition, after Harry Kane (32/32). He’s also still never lost any of the 34 Premier League games that he’s scored in.

Man City 1-0 Brentford xG

However, the Man City striker has failed to score in his last two league away appearances, only going three successive matches on the road without finding the back of the net once before previously from January to February last year.

Phil Foden has also found the net in each of his last three Premier League appearances against Saturday’s hosts Bournemouth, providing two assists as well, while Kevin De Bruyne has had a hand in seven goals across his nine top-flight outings versus the Cherries (three goals, four assists). The Belgian also has 18 goal involvements in his last 21 away league appearances (eight goals, 10 assists) but was left on the bench against Brentford as a precautionary measure against his hamstring injury that kept him out for five months this season.

In team news, another injury-enforced absence for De Bruyne could open the door for Belgian colleague Jérémy Doku, who became just the eighth player in the competition’s history to provide four assists in a single game in the reverse fixture with Bournemouth, while he also scored in that match. Only two players have provided five assists against a single side in a Premier League season; Emmanuel Adebayor vs Newcastle United and Antonio Valencia vs Wolves (both five assists in 2011-12).

Yet owing to an embarrassment of attacking riches, Doku could also have to wait for a chance from the bench in the south-coast clash as Bernardo Silva, who has been involved in eight goals across his last nine Premier League away games (four goals, four assists), remains Guardiola’s go-to versatile figure.

Silva has recently battled through injury issues, as has Mateo Kovacic and backup full-back Sergio Gómez, though Guardiola’s lineup remains with Jack Grealish and Josko Gvardiol as the only blemishes on City’s almost fully fit world-class squad.

As for Saturday’s hosts, Bournemouth went 2-0 up on MD 25 against Newcastle United after goals from top scorer Dominic Solanke and Antoine Semenyo, only for Anthony Gordon’s penalty and a 92nd-minute leveller from former Cherries man Matt Ritchie to thwart Iraola’s visitors at St James’ Park last Saturday.

Iraola’s men may be 13th in the league table but are without a top-flight win in six league games, stretching all the way back to their Boxing Day victory over Fulham. Those struggles have not been aided by injury troubles, though, with Max Aarons, Tyler Adams, Ryan Fredericks and James Hill long-term absentees and Philip Billing still suspended after his red card against Nottingham Forest.

Romain Faivre will likely return from illness for Saturday’s kick-off on the south coast, where Bournemouth will be desperate to end an underwhelming run of form against an opponent they have always struggled with.

Bournemouth vs Manchester City Head-to-Head

Man City have won all 13 of their Premier League games against Bournemouth – the best 100% win rate for one side against another in the competition’s history, while Guardiola’s men have only faced Watford (14) more often in this division without ever losing.

Indeed, Guardiola has won all 12 of his meetings with Bournemouth in all competitions by an aggregate scoreline of 37-7 – his best 100%-win ratio against any opponent in his managerial career.

Last season’s treble winners enjoy facing Bournemouth, that is clear to see. They have never lost a game in any competition overall against the Cherries, winning 18 of their 20 games against them (D2) – the most they’ve ever faced a side without tasting defeat.

Man City 6-1 Bournemouth

Vitality Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for City, who were 6-1 winners in the reverse meeting this term, considering the Manchester club have won eight of their nine away games against Bournemouth in all competitions, winning each of the last six in a row since a goalless draw in the third tier back in February 1999.

Recent Form

Manchester City stretched their unbeaten home run in all competitions to 35 games (W30 D5) after defeating Brentford, but they have also won each of their last four away Premier League matches since a 1-0 loss at Aston Villa in December.

Guardiola’s men have not triumphed in five straight away league games since May 2023, with that run coincidentally starting at AFC Bournemouth as Julián Álvarez, Foden and Haaland inflicted the damage alongside Chris Mepham’s own goal.

Bournemouth have previously not enjoyed this later kick-off slot either, failing to win nine consecutive Premier League games starting at 17:30 on a Saturday between April 2017 and February 2023 (D2 L7), though they beat Newcastle 2-0 in November in their last such game.

The Cherries have also won three of their last six home matches in the Premier League (D2 L1), against Fulham, Newcastle and Burnley, having failed to win any of their previous seven on home soil (D2 L5).

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Bournemouth vs Manchester City Prediction

Bournemouth vs Manchester City Prediction

Man City are viewed as the heavy favourites by the Opta supercomputer, triumphing in 72% of 10,000 pre-match simulations, compared to a Bournemouth win in just 9.5%.

Iraola’s best hope may be an unlikely point, with that result predicted in 18.5% of data-led scenarios, and that would significantly dent City’s title hopes.

Guardiola’s men are still backed as favourites to defend their Premier League trophy in 46.7% of Opta’s end-of-season simulations, ahead of Liverpool (40.4%) and Arsenal (12.9%). That trio are almost certain to qualify for next season’s Champions League as well.

Meanwhile, the Cherries are forecast to finish 12th most often, doing so 26.7% of season simulations.

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