Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Bournemouth, steadily reinventing themselves as the kings of the 2-1 defeat, would probably be happy to lose by that score for a fourth match in a row as they travel to the Etihad to face league leaders Manchester City. Pep Guardiola, who is probably sick of the sight of Lyon by now after his side failed for a second consecutive occasion to defeat them, will be sorely disappointed if his reigning champions can’t find the goals to overcome a Cherries side that has struggled to maintain their excellent early-season form.
Manchester City vs Bournemouth Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Bournemouth
There is a non-negligible chance that Guardiola’s side will be rotated somewhat for the team’s third game in a little over a week, which could see one or more of the team’s blue-chip players rested. That said, Bournemouth won’t exactly be breathing a huge sigh of relief if they don’t have to face Aguero, Sterling or Sane – they’ll just be replaced with other world-class players if that’s the case. The Cherries have been unfortunate to lose recent games due to late goals, and they won’t lie down here – but you’d still expect them to suffer another defeat, and probably by at least a couple of goals.
Our recommended tip: Manchester City & BTTS
Eddie Howe is a young and relatively fearless manager. He’s curated a squad filled with players who like to get forward and know how to create chances, and there’s little chance he’ll bring his side to the Etihad to pack the penalty area and pray. There is a real possibility his side will make it hard for their opponents by going toe-to-toe but, as the league table shows, City are very much the best side in England and there’s no reason to expect they won’t saunter off with the three points here. William Hill have them at 5/4 (2.25) to win with both teams scoring – it’s a worthwhile bet with a good chance of coming off.
As much as they approach every game with an admirable spirit, Bournemouth can find themselves on the wrong end of a thrashing on occasion, and this was their fate the last time they visited the Etihad. They kept it interesting – Aguero’s 27th-minute goal was all that separated the sides at the half – but the champions added to their account early in the second, with the Argentinian international turning provider for Sterling before doubling his own tally on 79. Substitute left-back Danilo, only just on the pitch, made it 4-0 on 85 minutes, and that’s how it ended.
Top 3 Premier League Bookies
Players to watch: Fabian Delph & Callum Wilson
It was a surprise in 2015 when City – a moneybags club with the cachet to buy anyone they want – signed Delph from Aston Villa. It’s been a recurring surprise to see him become a key part of their squad, and the former Leeds man even captained England recently in a friendly against the USA. Dependable in midfield and at left-back, Delph seems to fit well into Guardiola’s style of play; his unselfish approach to the game allows others to shine, but he can put in a turn himself.
Wilson is another player who, three years ago, you wouldn’t have expected to see in an England line-up. He’s been through long periods of injury since then, but the powers of recovery he has shown to get back to playing and scoring deserve praise. He found the net for the national team against the Americans, and has six goals for the campaign so far. As a demonstration of how vital he is to the team, he’s also laid on four assists, underlining how involved he is in the game every time he plays.