AFC Bournemouth welcome Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to the Vitality Stadium tomorrow night, with the hosts desperate to regain their 2016 form and avoid a late relegation battle this season.
Following an embarrassing 6-3 defeat to Everton, The Cherries have not won any of their last five league games and are currently sat 14th in the Premier League table, just six points above the relegation zone. Having been comfortable around the middle of the table for the majority of the season, it has not been a happy new year for Eddie Howe’s side.
Meanwhile, despite suffering a stumble that saw them drop from title favourites to top four candidates, Manchester City travel to Dorset on the back of two wins, albeit against lower league opposition.
Fifth at the time of writing, any amount of points will see City climb back into those crucial Champions League places, and with their Manchester counterparts breathing down their necks, Guardiola’s men will have no doubts over the importance of this game.
All factors point towards a clear City win then, but Bournemouth fans should take pride in the fact that none of the current top five have been able to win at the Vitality Stadium so far this season.
Eddie Howe and his team have made it a tough place to visit for the big clubs, with Tottenham and Arsenal both drawing at Bournemouth and Liverpool falling victim to that memorable 4-3 win for The Cherries.
League-leaders Chelsea will travel to the South coast for that fixture on 8th April.
Nevertheless, having suffered a severe injury to forward Callum Wilson and with little business done in the January transfer window, the circumstances aren’t looking good for Bournemouth going into this game.
it’s just about the game and making sure we’re competitive in the game and that we give a good account of ourselves for our supporters” – Howe
Nerve asked Howe if he would agree with the suggestion that Bournemouth aren’t necessarily underdogs for Monday night’s game due to their record against the big teams at home this season. Laughing, he wasn’t keen to label his side as favourites and told us that “it’s just about the game and making sure we’re competitive in the game and that we give a good account of ourselves for our supporters”.
All circumstances aside, when it comes down to the 90 minutes, anything can happen in the Premier League as Bournemouth have proved so regularly during their time in the top flight.
The Cherries have never beaten Manchester City in their nine previous meetings, but with much to play for, a win for either side is crucial, so Bournemouth vs Manchester City should not disappoint!