Bournemouth vs Manchester City preview, betting tips and predictions: City to keep on rolling on the South Coast.
Manchester City to win with BTTS @ 13/8 with Betfair
Gabriel Jesus to score first @ 10/3 with Betfair
Manchester City to win with a -2 handicap @ 9/4 with Betfair
Bournemouth have been pretty lucky in the opening weeks of the season, given the lack of real criticism met by their disastrous start to the campaign. The Cherries are one of five clubs yet to pick up a point this term despite spending £30million to sign Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake from Chelsea and offering Jermain Defoe a sizeable wage packet. Arguably, having faced West Brom and Watford, they have not yet faced a big test, which is extremely concerning for Eddie Howe considering Manchester City are coming to town this weekend.
City are favourites to win the Premier League title after spending over £200million this summer, and because of that this game could be rather open. Bournemouth are in a bit of a predicament when it comes to their approach, because they are neither solid enough at the back, despite two new signings, nor strong enough in midfield to deal with City. If they look to sit deep and protect their goal, something that goes against Howe’s ideals, they will be penned in just as Brighton were when they hosted City, and if they try and attack, they will leave themselves exposed to an array of goalscoring and creative talent.
But Pep Guardiola’s men are hardly defensively sound either, and their rather unbalanced 3-1-4-2 system seems like little more than a way of squeezing as many attacking players onto the pitch as possible. With no Kyle Walker, who was sent off against Everton, Guardiola will likely bring back Danilo, but if Bournemouth can get City on the back foot, they may have some joy either by going direct and playing through Benik Afobe, or on the counter attack with Defoe or Josh King’s pace. There will be opportunities for them to double up on Fernandinho in midfield, hence our betting tip of backing Bournemouth to score.
On the flip side, City are adept at playing through the middle with David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne, and out wide through Leroy Sane or Monday’s goalscorer Raheem Sterling. Up front, Gabriel Jesus is still looking for his first goal of the season, and this kind of game is perfectly set up for him to open his account, and he is well placed at 10/3 to do that first. Backing a handicap victory for the visitors, provided they start with the right intensity, could yield success too.
Key battle: Harry Arter vs Fernandinho
Pep Guardiola has only slightly altered his preferred system from last season, but crucially the one defensive midfielder remains. Fernandinho is much more disciplined than Yaya Toure, but he will still come under intense pressure when City are defending.
Harry Arter is a tidy midfielder who will look to thread the ball passed Fernandinho, and given the high defensive line the visitors will hold, that could easily leave them open to attacks from King particularly. More than anyone at City, Fernandinho holds the key to victory whenever he plays.