Friday, October 23, 2020

Prediction: Manchester City vs Bournemouth

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 23 Sep 2020

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Verdict: Home win by more than two goals

Best odds: 16/5

Bookmaker: Betfair

Manchester City will kick off their 2020/21 Carabao Cup campaign when they take on Bournemouth in the third round on Thursday evening at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City

City won this trophy in the last three seasons, and their goal will certainly be to keep that dominant run going. They ended 2019/20 in a disappointing fashion, finishing 18 points behi d Liverpool in the Premier League, ending the FA Cup run in the semifinals with a defeat to Arsenal, and seeing their Champions League hopes dashed in the quarterfinals by Olympique Lyon.

Pep Guardiola’s team started their league campaign this time around well enough, by winning away to Wolverhampton Wanderers who triumphed over them in both encounters last season, with Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus all on target. Their next task will be at home against Leicester City on Sunday.

City have had a fairly busy summer in terms of transfers so far, and may yet have dealings in the market before the window closes. They’ve signed winger Ferran Torres from Valencia and centre-back Nathan Ake from their opponents in this game, and sold winger Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich. At the moment, they remain linked with Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

Midfielder David Silva left the club on a free transfer after 10 successful years, together with goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

Team News

Defender Aymeric Laporte and winger Riyad Mahrez are both expected to play a part after a self-isolation period following positive Covid-19 tests, despite Guardiola announcing a heavily rotated side to give some rest to as many first team players as possible.

Fullbacks Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko are both out of action at the moment, which means Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy are likely to be involved.

Midfielders Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan, striker Sergio Aguero and defender Eric Garcia have all been ruled out.

Bournemouth

If Manchester City’s season is considered to have ended badly, it’s nothing compared to that of Bournemouth. The Cherries finished in 18th place with 34 points, which means they’ve been relegated from the English top flight.

After two rounds in the Championship this term, they’re sitting in fourth place with four points to their name. They first beat Blackburn Rovers at the Vitality, and then played a 1-1 draw away to Middlesbrough.

Bournemouth’s Carabao Cup campaign began in the second round where they beat Crystal Palace on penalties after playing out the actual match without a goal at either end. Manager Jason Tindall had probably hoped for a more favorable third-round draw than the winners of the competition on three previous occasions, but there’s nothing now left for him and his players to do but to try and make it as difficult as possible for the trophy holders.

As for transfer this summer, the Cherries were forced to relinquish the services of several important players after their relegation. As has been said, Ake made his way to Manchester City. Striker Callum Wilson has been sold to Newcastle and goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to Sheffield United. Wingers Ryan Fraser and Jordon Ibe ran down their contracts and joined Newcastle and Derby County, respectively.

Team News

Tindall has very little choice other than sending the strongest team at his disposal into this game. Even that won’t make things much easier.

Winger Junior Stanislas missed the Middlesbrough clash through minor injury, but he’s expected to be ready for the Etihad adventure. There don’t appear to be any more fitness issues, but the Cherries will also have one eye on the Championship duel with Norwich City on Sunday.

Conclusion

Rotated team or not, there can be very little doubt that Manchester City will find a way past Bournemouth into the fourth round, and they should be able to do it without much fuss within 90 minutes. In fact, they’ll probably get there with several goals of difference on the scoreboard.

Verdict: Home win by more than two goals

Best odds: 16/5

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.

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