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The England forward has a phenomenal record against the Cherries - so much so, the south coast side could be forgiven for hoping Pep Guardiola gives the 23-year-old a rest this Saturday.
It’s a fact that some players just seem to enjoy playing against certain teams more than others – there’s no obvious reason, but it happens regularly in football.
Sergio Aguero loves playing Newcastle United, Manchester United and Liverpool (the latter at home), while David Silva regularly finds the net against West Ham and so on.
Raheem Sterling, meanwhile, loves playing against Bournemouth.
He first appeared against the Cherries in a FA Cup tie at the Vitality Stadium in 2014 for Liverpool, coming on as an 84th-minute sub for Victor Moses as the Reds triumphed 2-0.
Though he didn’t have time to score in that game, he returned 10 months later in a League Cup quarter-final to bag a couple of goals in the 20th and 51st minutes to help the Reds overcome the then-Championship leaders at the Vitality.
Liverpool won that game 3-1 and the summer after, Raheem had joined City and the Cherries had won promotion – and his first game against Bournemouth in sky blue was another memorable one.
Sterling scored a career-first hat-trick in the first half of a game the Blues went on to win 5-1. He scored in the seventh, 29th and 45th minutes – the second goal a superb individual effort – before being subbed to a standing ovation in the 77th-minute.
Raheem was injured for the return game that season – a 4-0 win for the Blues – but the 2016/17 campaign saw no let up for the south coast side.
Sterling struck on 48 minutes at the Etihad as City racked up another 4-0 victory, meaning he’d now bagged six goals in three full matches against them and he also claimed his first assist against Bournemouth in that game - but he hadn’t finished yet.
Far from it. In the return at the Vitality, Sterling was initially denied by a superb Artur Boruc stop on 27 minutes before netting from close range a couple of minutes later. Seven goals, four matches – incredible. And it goes on.
Perhaps the cruellest blow was yet to come. At a sun-drenched Vitality Stadium last season, Bournemouth were pressing for a winner having earlier led for the first time in the history of this fixture through a Charlie Daniels wonder-strike with 13 minutes on the clock.
Gabriel Jesus had levelled on 21 minutes, but the hosts were a constant threat and Joshua King twice went close to sealing a first win against the Blues.
But, seven minutes into added time, the ball fell to Sterling in the box and his deflected shot looped up and wrong-footed the keeper to steal all three points for City.
We await the next chapter in the Sterling v Bournemouth story with interest…
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