EPL WEEK 19! Manchester City VS AFC Bournemouth - SATURDAY (23/12/2017)

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Manchester City VS AFC Bournemouth
Saturday (23/12/2017)
16:00 (WAT)
While Manchester City are still in the running to win four trophies, don't count Pep Guardiola among those who think they will claim all of them.

The rampant Premier League front-runners look to extend their British football record for consecutive league wins to 17 on Saturday when they host Bournemouth.

A largely overturned side from Sunday's 4-1 demolition of Tottenham Hotspur was dragged into penalties at Leicester City in the EFL quarterfinals Tuesday, but Manchester City (17-1-0) advanced by a 4-3 count in the spot kicks.

Bernardo Silva's first-half goal was canceled out by a contentious penalty by Jamie Vardy seven minutes into second-half stoppage time, and the teams played out an extra half-hour before going to penalties. Ilkay Gundogan, Yaya Toure, Lukas Nmecha and Gabriel Jesus all converted before Vardy and Riyad Mahrez did not for the hosts.

When asked about an unprecedented quadruple sweep of trophies, Guardiola shot back, "Forget about it. That is not going to happen."

But the one trophy that appears front and center for theirs to take is the Premier League one as City enter this contest 11 points clear approaching the halfway mark. Last weekend's match against Spurs turned after Dele Alli's petulant stamp on City star Kevin De Bruyne, who took out his frustrations on the pitch with a superbly taken goal that made it 2-0 on 70 minutes.

Raheem Sterling added some gloss to the final score with a brace in the final 10 minutes as City extended their home winning streak to eight matches in league play and their unbeaten run in all competitions at the Etihad to 28 (21-7-0).

"We are here to win titles," De Bruyne said after the win over Spurs. "We had a great start, it's still more than half (of the season to go) so it's still very difficult - we want to win every game and everybody who comes in is doing an incredible job."

De Bruyne has scored goals in the last two matches and totaled three and two assists in his last five league outings.

Bournemouth (4-4-10) enter this match in a tenuous position. They are 16th in the table on 16 points, one above the drop and ahead of Stoke City on goal difference, while also sitting just four points above last place.

The Cherries are amid an 0-3-4 stretch over all competitions after their EFL Cup adventures came to an end with a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Wednesday.

Eddie Howe's team have failed to score in the last two league matches after being torn apart at home by Liverpool 4-0 on Sunday. The goalless drought has reached 225 minutes since Jermain Defoe's first-half marker that provided a point in a 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace on Dec. 9.

With both Charlie Daniels and Joshua King suffering injuries in Sunday's defeat, the mood is anything but sweet at the moment surrounding the Cherries.

Bournemouth had a four-match unbeaten run (2-2-0) on the road end with a 1-0 setback at Old Trafford last time out, but the Cherries have scored just six goals in their nine league contests outside Vitality Stadium while shipping 11.

Howe's men, though, made City earn their 2-1 victory in the reverse fixture Aug. 26. Daniels staked Bournemouth to a deserved lead on 13 minutes only to have Jesus equalise eight minutes later. It remained deadlocked until Sterling scored in the 97th minute with a chip over Asmir Begovic.

City have won all five top-flight matches between the sides by a combined 17-2 scoreline, including 9-1 in the two victories at the Etihad.

Team News
City remain without long-term absentee Benjamin Mendy, who is still recovering from anterior cruciate ligament damage, while John Stones is likely to remain sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Vincent Kompany could also miss the game on Saturday.

For Bournemouth, Tyrone Mings (back) and Brad Smith (hip) will be out of action.

Mike Jones will take charge of Saturday’s game, with help from assistants: Ian Hussin, Derek Eaton.

Last time
City last faced Bournemouth back in August at the Vitality Stadium, and Pep Guardiola’s side secured a 2-1 win over the Cherries.
Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling scored City’s goals, while Charlie Daniels secured one for the visitors.

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