Manchester City will be aiming to bag maximum points when they take on Bournemouth at Dean Court on Saturday as they look to keep pace at the top of the table.
Pep Guardiola’s side were frustrated at home by Everton on Monday and they will be eager to bounce back with a convincing victory after narrowly avoiding defeat.
While they are among the favourites to win the title, Manchester City have looked far from convincing in their opening two games and Guardiola’s team are under pressure to string a series of results together, especially with the likes of Manchester United flying out of the traps.
After a disappointing start to the season, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus will be determined to show that they can work together, particularly Jesus, who was withdrawn at half-time against Everton and watched on from the bench as his replacement Raheem Sterling scored City’s crucial equalizer.
Guardiola will be forced into a making a change in defence with the suspension of Walker, but he may also opt to shake things up in attack as he looks for his players to gather momentum. With Ilkay Gundogan nearing fitness, he may feature for City. Whether Benjamin Mendy features for the side remains a question- Pep may opt to go with Leroy Sane or Raheem Sterling on the left.
Bournemouth on the other hand, after their opening day defeat against West Brom they suffered a home defeat last weekend to Watford before overcoming Birmingham 1-2 in the second round of the EFL Cup. They will be looking to build on this as they seek to overturn a pretty poor record against their visitors.
Bournemouth will be missing defender Simon Francis, Junior Stanislas and Calum Wilson through injury.
The Bournemouth chief openly acknowledged that he was extremely disappointed with his team’s display, and it will have undoubtedly created more questions than answers in his mind as he assesses whether to add more quality to his squad before the end of the window.
This is a Bournemouth squad who will still have aspirations of claiming another top-10 spot at the end of the season, but with a trip to Arsenal to come at the start of September, things will begin to look bleak if no points have been registered after four games.
This weekend’s match will represent just the 11th time in which these two teams have faced each other in a competitive fixture, with City claiming eight victories and Bournemouth only having two draws to their name.
Each of the four Premier League meetings have been one-sided in City’s favour, with 15 goals being scored and just one effort being conceded.
Bournemouth have never scored a goal against City at their home ground.
The player city will have to watch out for is Jermain Defoe. Although he has not set the PL on fire this season, any sensible player knows what he can do on the pitch. This guy knows where the goal is and can turn on a sixpence so will need close watching by the City defenders.
Ederson, Kompany, Stones, Otamendi Danilo, De Bryne, Fernandinho, D.Silva, Mendy,Jesus, Aguero
Begovic, Smith, Cook, Ake, Daniels, Fraser, Surman, Arter, Ibe, King, Defoe