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Blues looking to profit from 'derby weekend'

Five topics for discussion ahead of today’s match…

1 Can Blues profit from derby weekender?

A City win over Bournemouth could be very beneficial this weekend.

Four of the Blues’ closest challengers are in action on Sunday in derby matches which don’t always go to form.

Liverpool host Everton in the Merseyside derby, while Chelsea take on Fulham in the West London derby and Arsenal play Spurs in the North London face-off.

The Blues need maximum points today in order to benefit from any slip-ups from our title rivals and, of course, in case three of them win.


2 Rotation

With injuries still disrupting Pep Guardiola’s team selection, the boss has limited options to rotate his starting XI.

Bernardo Silva could return, and Fabian Delph is likely to slot back in at left-back.

Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi will be hoping to see some game time after missing out in midweek and one or both could feature.

Gabriel Jesus would have likely given Sergio Aguero a rest if he was fit – and the manager didn’t rule him out, while Phil Foden and Danilo could feature at some stage.


STARDUST: Bernardo to return?



3 Cherry dip?

Bournemouth’s impressive start to the season has stuttered somewhat in recent games.

Three defeats on the bounce have seen Eddie Howe’s men slip from just outside the Champions League berths to eighth.

But those losses have all been narrow 2-1 defeats to Newcastle, Manchester United and Arsenal and, on different days, the Cherries could have claimed at least a draw - perhaps more.

Howe has shaped a much meaner defence and a bright, energetic forward line that is working well so far, and they won’t want to undo that hard work in one game against the Blues.


4 History favouring City

Pep Guardiola says past history is irrelevant by the time kick-off arrives on Saturday and, of course, he is correct.

But if there is any truth with the old saying ‘horses for courses’, the Etihad is a track that Bournemouth don’t particularly enjoy visiting.

This fixture has a relatively brief history, with only 31 years of meetings to delve into.


IN BATTLE: Raheem Sterling shields the ball from Bournemouth's Junior Stanislas.



City 4-0 Bournemouth: Short highlights

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But 12 games in, it’s City who have completely bossed the meetings, with 10 games won and two draws.

That won’t inspire confidence from the visitors, who have shipped 34 goals during that time and scored just six.

The Blues have won all six Premier League meetings since 2015, scoring 21 times and conceding two.

And with an average of 4.33 goals for each game at the Etihad for City, things can only improve for Bournemouth!


5 Brooks looking to prove point?

David Brooks has looked impressive for the Cherries this season and the 21-year-old looks quite a prospect.

The Warrington-born midfielder spent 10 years with City’s junior teams and Academy before moving to Sheffield United in 2014.

Since then, he hasn’t looked back and will be keen to impress if he plays against the champions on Saturday.

Maybe not so much on Saturday, but as a former Blue, everyone at the Club will be willing Brooks to do well this season and beyond.

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will assess the fitness of Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva on Friday afternoon.

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