Manchester City v Bournemouth preview: Eddie Howe's side the latest challengers to City juggernaut
Last Updated: 23/12/17 8:22am
Bournemouth will bid to end a record-breaking run that was started on their own ground when they travel to Manchester City on Saturday.
City's 16-match winning streak in the Premier League began with a 2-1 victory on the south coast at the end of August, although they needed a 97th-minute winner from Raheem Sterling to seal the points.
Pep Guardiola's side have not looked back since and will be heavily fancied to make it 17 in a row when Eddie Howe's struggling side make the trip north.
Bournemouth are without a win since their 4-0 victory over Huddersfield on November 18 and return to Premier League duty having been knocked out of the Carabao Cup in midweek by Chelsea.
Their last league outing was a 4-0 home defeat to Liverpool - a result that left them just one point above the relegation zone - so it does not feel the ideal time for the Cherries to be facing the form team in Europe.
Manchester City will be without the services of Benjamin Mendy (knee) and John Stones (hamstring) again at the weekend while Vincent Kompany remains a doubt due to a muscle problem.
Bournemouth's injury problems are also in defence with Tyrone Mings (back) and Brad Smith (hip) both absent for Eddie Howe. In midfield, Harry Arter (calf) is a doubt, while striker Jermain Defoe is definitely out and is to see a specialist about a potentially serious ankle injury.
Manchester City have won nine and lost none of their 11 previous league matches against Bournemouth (D2), winning all five in the Premier League.
The Cherries have conceded nine goals in two previous Premier League visits to the Etihad, losing 5-1 in October 2015 and 4-0 in September 2016.
Raheem Sterling has scored in all four of his Premier League appearances against Bournemouth, scoring six goals including a hat-trick in October 2015 and last-minute winner in this season's reverse fixture.
If Manchester City win this, it will be the joint-second longest ever winning run in one of Europe's big five leagues (17 games). The current record is 19, achieved by Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich in 2013-14.
An English manager hasn't won a Premier League match at the Etihad since May 2010, when Harry Redknapp won 1-0 with Spurs. Since then, English managers have drawn three and lost 32 of 35 Premier League trips to the Etihad; current Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe started that match for Spurs in 2010.
Manchester City have scored 97 Premier League goals in 2017 so far - the last team to score 100+ goals in a single year within the English top-flight were Liverpool (106 goals) in 1982.
Gabriel Jesus hasn't lost any of the 26 Premier League games that he's played in since joining Manchester City - only four players have ever had a longer unbeaten start to a Premier League career (Jens Lehmann 47, Arjen Robben 37, Didier Drogba 37 and Gael Clichy 29).
Bernardo Silva hasn't been on the losing side in a league match for over a year now (18th December 2016) and has since gone on a 36-game unbeaten league run across his Monaco & Manchester City career (W33 D3 L0).
At first, I thought 'what score do you want?' One thing for sure is that City are going to win, but it is just a matter of how many. That was a real kick in the teeth at Chelsea. Earlier this season, though, Bournemouth have changed the way they played on a few occasions and nearly got a result, so I don't think it will be a huge win for City.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (15/2 with Sky Bet)