Manchester City‘s challenge for the Champions League places continues with a trip to the Vitality Stadium to do battle with out-of-form Bournemouth on Monday night (8pm, Sky Sports 1).
Pep Guardiola’s men left it late before making sure of the points last time out, as Gabriel Jesus’ dramatic winner in second-half stoppage time helped the hosts to a 2-1 triumph at the Etihad Stadium. That success made it seven points from nine for City since the nadir that was a 4-0 thrashing by Everton last month, while their performance in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur was deserving of much more.
As the bookies’ EPL betting suggests, The Premier League title is already out of reach for a team who, despite their recent upturn in fortunes, are still 10 points adrift of league leaders Chelsea. City do at least look in much better shape as they seek to qualify for the 2017/18 edition of the Champions League by finishing in the top four. The scintillating displays of youthful attacking trio Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane provide another source of optimism for the club’s fans.
Bournemouth’s poor form continued with a 6-3 loss to Everton in their most recent encounter, which extended their run without a win to six games in all competitions. The last match from which they emerged victorious was against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium in December. Eddie Howe’s charges could be in danger of getting dragged into the relegation picture unless they are able to arrest their slide soon. The south coast outfit have fallen to 14th place and are now just six points above the bottom three. That said, Monday’s clash is clearly not one that they will have marked down as a must-win.
There have been some calls for Howe to temporarily alter his expansive style of play, but the Cherries should remember that their attacking approach has already brought them further than even their most optimistic supporters would have considered possible just a few short years ago.
Man City’s sole injury-enforced absentee is Ilkay Gundogan, who remains sidelined with a knee problem. Fernandinho was deployed in an unfamiliar right-back role in the victory over Swansea but could return to his more familiar position of holding midfield, where he will be flanked by two of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Yaya Toure. Sergio Aguero may again have to settle for a spot on the substitutes’ bench due to Jesus’ sensational start to life in English football, with the Brazil international having contributed three goals in his first two Premier League starts.
Bournemouth could be missing defensive threesome Adam Smith (knock) Simon Francis (hamstring) and Charlie Daniels (hamstring), who are all rated as doubts. Howe employed a 3-5-1-1 formation in the defeat by Everton but is likely to return to a back four after watching his side ship six goals on Merseyside. Josh King should keep his place as the line-leader at the top of the pitch following his two-goal haul at Goodison Park.
Our Preview’s Bournemouth v Man City Betting Tips Verdict
Given both sides’ respective form of late, it is difficult to look past a comfortable Manchester City victory for the 4/9 shots at the Vitality Stadium. Guardiola’s side have been much improved in the last few weeks and will be in confident mood on Monday night, while Bournemouth’s porous defensive unit may well struggle to deal with a flurry of dynamic movement and sharp, snappy passing in their own half of the field. An away victory in a match featuring more than 3.5 goals could therefore be the best way to go in this one, while wide man Sane would be an astute choice to find the back of the net at any time. This is a summary, with best odds, of our preview’s match betting tips:
- Manchester City to beat Bournemouth with more than 3.5 goals scored in total @ best odds of 23/10 with Paddy Power.
- Leroy Sane to score anytime @ 5/2 with Betfred.
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