AFC Bournemouth

Preview: Manchester City v. Bournemouth

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  • Man City has won all six of its PL matches against AFC Bournemouth, scoring 21 goals and conceding only two. 
  • Raheem Sterling could become the first Premier League player to score in his first six appearances against a club, having scored in five previous against Bournemouth. 
  • AFC Bournemouth is yet to lose a PL away match against the reigning champions, as the Cherries won at Chelsea in both 2015/16 and 2017/18 and drew at Leicester City in 2016/17.

Manchester City looks to join elite company with a result this weekend as it takes on AFC Bournemouth on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com). With a win or a draw, Manchester City would become just the third team to have three-or-more runs of 20-games unbeaten in the Premier League, an impressive feat.

On the other side, Bournemouth has fallen back to earth somewhat in the past few weeks, with three straight defeats. However, Eddie Howe‘s side is still in the top-ten and has history behind them, with good results on the road against recent reigning champions.

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Man City did suffer a slight blow in the run up to this match. Kevin De Bruyne was looking to make his return once again from the sidelines in time for Saturday’s game, but now it looks like he’ll be out a further week. Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva will all undergo fitness tests on Friday to see whether they’re ready to face the Cherries.

What they’re saying

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on whether he will rotate his squad this weekend: “Maybe [I will make changes], yeah, because it was a really tough game. The Champions League is always there and after this game we have another in three days and everybody deserves to play and will play.”

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe on his approach to facing Manchester City: “Let’s wait and see. We like to think we’re adaptable and can make changes when necessary. We treat each game individually so we’ll try to come up with a plan that nullifies Man City’s strengths as best as we can while still maintaining a threat. We know it will be hard and City are the side we’ve struggled the most against, but I see the game more as a positive challenge than a negative one.”

Prediction

Manchester City continues to play well, even with some key injuries, while Bournemouth’s defense has begun to show signs of weaknesses. For the second week in a row, Bournemouth score and keep it close, but the talent of Man City leads it over the top. Man City 2-1 Bournemouth

Everton reduced to 10 men after Richarlison headbutt

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Richarlison‘s start to his Everton career had been quite brilliant for the opening two matches, but now the Brazilian faces some time on the sidelines after a rash decision on Saturday.

[ MORE: Man City unnerved by early-season draw ]

During the first half of Everton’s match against Bournemouth (currently 0-0 at the break), Richarlison was shown a red card in the 40th minute after headbutting Cherries man Adam Smith after a coming together.

It appeared that Smith tempted the Toffees goal scorer into the sequence, but it was Richarlison that acted on it and was ultimately dismissed by referee Lee Probert on the brink of halftime.

Since the Everton attacker was given a straight red card, he’ll miss the next three matches for the Toffees, including the club’s Sept. 23 meeting with Arsenal.

Howe named Premier League Manager of the Month

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AFC Bournemouth is picking up some accolades for its impressive run in January.

The club was unbeaten in Premier League action, with two wins and two draws, leading to manager Eddie Howe being named Premier League Manager of the Month. The last of the club’s wins in January was a night many in Bournemouth will never forget, as the Cherries slammed the door shut on the defending Premier League champions with a 3-0 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

[READ: Arsenal’s Wenger played to his advantages in Swedish blowout]

Bournemouth’s 4-1 clobbering at Huddersfield Town broke a streak of seven games unbeaten in the league, which has seen the Cherries rise to tenth in the table. Incredibly, because of the top-down nature in the Premier League this season, Bournemouth are only five points clear of the relegation zone.

PL Sunday preview: Van Dijk, Liverpool visit St. Mary’s, Man United in action

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Liverpool and Southampton sit in considerably different positions, but a former player’s return to St. Mary’s will garner much of the attention on Sunday when the two clubs collide.

Meanwhile, three sides firmly in the relegation race aim to pull away from the bottom three with strong performances.

[ MORE: Saturday PL roundup — Citizens crack 70 points, Spurs win NLD ]

Here’s a look at Sunday’s three PL matches.

Huddersfield Town vs. Bournemouth — 7 a.m. ET on CNBC

When these sides last met in November, the Cherries came away with a convincing 4-0 defeat. That leaves Huddersfield boss David Wagner with some tough decisions at home.

Jonathan Hogg is expected to be reintroduced to the Huddersfield lineup on Sunday, while Christopher Schindler and Laurent Depoitre could feature after the pair came off of foot injuries recently.

The Terriers have had a terrible time scoring as of late, scoring just once in their last 620 league minutes, while Bournemouth has gone unbeaten in its last seven fixtures.

Bournemouth has seen a solid improvement since the Christmas period, with the club boasting 15 points in that span — which is second to only Liverpool’s 16 points.

Newcastle vs. Manchester United — 9:15 a.m. ET on NBCSN

In 28 career PL meetings, Newcastle has won just twice against the English giants — which doesn’t bode well for Rafa Benitez and Co. The club’s last victory against the Red Devils came back in 2012.

With loan signing Islam Slimani still yet to play a match for the Magpies, Benitez will be desperately hoping for the Algerian to be fit in time for Sunday’s clash. The side will benefit from Ciaran Clark‘s return though, who is coming back from a knee injury.

Meanwhile, United has clamped down recently on the defensive side, boasting five shutouts in its last six matches.

Southampton vs. Liverpool — 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN

The biggest story on the day will be Van Dijk’s return to his former club, however, four other current Liverpool players have previously played a role for Southampton.

The Saints have had success recently against Liverpool, with the hosts unbeaten in their last three home fixtures against Jurgen Klopp‘s group.

Klopp and Co. have been through a tumultuous period since their confidence-boosting win over table-toppers Manchester City, with the Reds winning just one of their last four fixtures.

Sunday PL preview: Man City hosts West Ham; Saints travel to Bournemouth

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A stunning display of form over the first third of the season has Manchester City well ahead of its challengers, so it’ll take something special from its opponent on Sunday to hand Pep Guardiola‘s side its first defeat of the 2017/18 season.

[ MORE: Bayern opens up six-point gap in Bundesliga ]

The Premier League leaders will play host to relegation side West Ham United in the day’s second match, which is preceded by two clubs hoping to crack the top 10.

Bournemouth will take on Southampton from the Vitality Stadium, as the Cherries and Saints currently sit within two points of one another.

Below is a more in-depth look at Sunday’s two top-flight matches.

Bournemouth vs. Southampton — 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN

The Cherries enter the weekend four points clear of the bottom three in England, but a victory over Southampton could potentially propel the side above their opponent.

Eddie Howe‘s squad is coming off of a 2-1 home defeat to Burnley on Wednesday, so the quick turnaround will test Bournemouth’s fortitude. Overall, the Cherries are unbeaten in three of their last five matches, with their only two losses coming to top 6 sides (Chelsea & Burnley).

Meanwhile, Mauricio Pellegrino’s team has had a rough go of things as of late with matches against Liverpool, Burnley and Man City all going in favor of the PL top dogs. The only win in Southampton’s last four came last weekend with a convincing 4-1 win over struggling Everton.

In this fixture, the Saints have had Bournemouth’s number as of late, picking up points in seven of their last eight meetings (5W, 2D, 1L).

Manchester City vs. West Ham United — 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN

Can anyone stop the Citizens? It seems to be a legitimate question as Guardiola’s men continue to trudge along at the top of the PL.

[ MORE: Chelsea cruises past Newcastle after Hazard brace ]

City’s form to start the season has many wondering if the Manchester side will amass Chelsea’s points record set back in 2004/05 when the Blues recorded 95 points. At the moment, the Citizens have secured 40 points out of a possible 42, and the side would acquire nearly 112 points if it kept up its current pace of 2.85 points per game.

Of course, that’s slightly unrealistic.

The numbers certainly aren’t on the side of West Ham, who lost all three fixtures to City last season by a combined scoreline of 12-1.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Andy Carroll remains out for the Hammers, while Winston Reid looks like he’ll also be on the shelf for David Moyes‘ group.