The first fixture of this weekend’s Premier League programme takes us to the Vitality Stadium as Bournemouth play host to Manchester City. Eddie Howe’s men are still looking for both their first points and goals of the season and will have their work cut out if they are to finally get off the mark this lunchtime.
The Cherries have suffered back to back defeats at the start of this campaign with an opening weekend defeat away at West Brom then being followed a home loss to Marco Silva’s Watford last weekend. After an impressive 9th place finish last season these two early performances will no doubt come as cause for concern for both manager and fans alike.
Bournemouth’s strength was in attack last season as they had a habit of scoring more than they conceded more often than not, the defensive issues even with Nathan Ake and Asmir Begovic installed at the club have not been eradicated while Jermaine Defoe has had little effect up front since his move from Sunderland.
They need to get something on the board sooner rather than later and Manchester City are arguably the worst team they could face in this early hour of need. That is because in the four previous outings between the two clubs, Manchester City have scored 15 goals while Bournemouth have scored just 1.
Those statistics do not make for particularly good reading if you are connected to Bournemouth especially as they go up against a Manchester City side which will be looking to bounce back from dropping points at home to a stubborn Everton side on Monday.
There could be accusations that Ronald Koeman’s side parked the bus but they were good value for their point at The Etihad. It was not going to be an easy task for City and it was one that was made more difficult once Kyle Walker was sent off just before half time.
That meant that City were a man down and a goal down going into the second half and it needed substitute and make shift right wing back Raheem Sterling to rescue a point for Pep Guardiola’s men. It’s probably a bit early to start talking about two points dropped but any advantage that is given to their cross town rivals will not be welcomed.
A draw at home to Everton especially with a man short for over 45 minutes can be justified, dropping points to Bournemouth will not though. Eddie Howe’s may look at this as a tough fixture or they could look at it as the perfect way to ignite their season.
Bournemouth are always going to gift you goals and City will be licking their lips at the prospect at that, it is whether or not the attacking element of today’s home side can get them out of a sticky situation. To be honest I don’t think they can and even if they could, City’s traveling cabal of superstars will be more effective. An away win for me.
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— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) August 25, 2017