Bournemouth welcome Manchester City to Dean Court on Saturday afternoon with the Cherries looking to surpass 40 points to all but confirm their Premier League safety.
Eddie Howe’s men have been in fantastic form of late, and host a struggling City side having to contend with the majority of their players returning from a grueling international break. Is there an upset on the cards?
Formbook suggests a home win
Despite looking safe from relegation, Bournemouth are not resting on their laurels. The Cherries are 13th in the Premier League with 38 points from 31 games. Howe’s side are 12 points clear of the drop zone, while coming off the back of here wins from their last four in the division, but want to finish the season strongly and not assume survival has been achieved.
Having won back-to-back games on home soil ahead of this weekend’s clash with Manchester City, Bournemouth would fancy their chances in their own backyard against any Premier League side this season, but the poor form of Saturday’s opponents may well see the hosts pick up a result. The Sky Blues have hit a brick wall of late, and it threatens to see them finishing outside of the top-four to earn a place in the Champions League in 2016/17.
City will have a tiring side form the international break
Manuel Pellegrini’s men are 4th in the Premier League table with 51 points from 30 games this season. City have lost four and drawn one of their last six games in the division, and have failed to score in three of their last four overall. Their away form has been mediocre all campaign, and City also have to deal with the fitness levels of players who were representing their country on international duty.
Bournemouth have enjoyed the majority of the squad being retained ahead of this weekend’s meeting with City, while the visitors have had most of the team away. And with the Sky Blues struggling for form before the international break, and having little time to rectify their problems on the training field, an away win is far from a foregone conclusion despite the gulf in class between the two sides.
Bournemouth are 13/5 to win against Manchester City on Saturday afternoon, and victory could see the Cherries finishing the weekend with 41 points, potentially 15 points clear of the drop zone depending on other results. 40 points is regarded the safety tally to reach in the Premier League, but in truth Bournemouth have already done enough given the lead over the bottom-three.