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Media Watch

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Media Watch: City are a joy to watch, says Howe

There’s no let-up for Manchester City as we kick-off March’s fixture list with Pep Guardiola’s side still in contention for four trophies…

Today we face another crucial Premier League encounter, with the Blues travelling to the South Coast to take on Bournemouth.

And there’s plenty of pre-match talk in this morning’s papers with Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe revealing the depth of his admiration for Guardiola’s side.

Looking ahead to the game at the Vitality Stadium, Howe told BT Sport: “Their style of football is a joy to watch. Every time I see them play I feel like I learn something from how they do things.”

"It will be tough and we will need everyone – players, fans, staff – right at it.

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“I think it’s a good game for us. We will try to move on very quickly, and learn the lessons from a painful defeat (Bournemouth lost 5-1 at Arsenal in midweek).

“If you don’t give all your energy to the preparation and size of task in this game, it becomes even more difficult.”

Howe also said that he saw no reason why Guardiola’s side cannot continue their fight to land all four trophies.

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“I think they can do whatever they want to do. They’ve got the definite ability to do that (win all the competitions),” the Bournemouth manager added.

“I think they’re hugely-talented individuals, while being a very good team at the same time and I think that’s a very good mix.

“An outstanding manager of course leads the team and I wouldn’t put it past them – or him – to do that.”

Meanwhile the Manchester Evening News report on how the fixture with the Cherries carries special significance for Raheem Sterling.

The M.E.N’s Steve Railston scribes: “Raheem Sterling is in deadly form for Manchester City, but there’s a particular reason Bournemouth will fear the 24-year-old on Saturday.

“Bournemouth's gripe with the winger is a personal one.

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"Sterling has scored more goals against Eddie Howe's men than he has against any other club in his career, netting 10 in just eight appearances against the south coast side across all competitions.

“His latest strike against Bournemouth meant he became the first player in Premier League history to score in his first six appearances against a single opponent.

“And although Sterling clearly enjoys playing Bournemouth, there is one performance City fans will look back on with fond memories.

“In October 2015, under then manager ‎Manuel Pellegrini, City cruised past Bournemouth at home 5-1 and Sterling netted a hat-trick, taking home the match ball.

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“That day Sterling became the 11th different player to score a Premier League hat-trick while aged under 21, confirming his potential and raw ability.”

Meanwhile, from the opposition point of view, Bournemouth fan website Cherry Chimes says there is arguably more pressure on the Blues than Eddie Howe’s men given what is at stake.

Cherry Chimes blogs: "City come to Bournemouth having to keep winning to ensure their title bid stays on track. While the Cherries were hammered in their last match by Arsenal they are a different proposition at home and Guardiola won't take the game for granted. For those reasons there is a lot of pressure on City's players as they know one bad performance could set them back.

"Players aren't machines though and no matter how exceptional City's players are they get nervous just like any other team. Bournemouth have to aim to make this game as tight as they can for as long as they can.

"The pressure then will mount on City if they can't get a break through. If we get another opening few minutes like we did against Arsenal then fans can expect a similar outcome to the match. But Bournemouth have to show some character now."

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Finally, the Daily Star speculates on whether a fit-again Gabriel Jesus could be handed a start at the Vitality Stadium to give Sergio Aguero a breather.

The Star’s chief sports writer Jeremy Cross writes: ““The Brazil international has missed the Blues’ last three games with a damaged hamstring.

“In his absence Aguero has played non-stop to help keep City’s historic quadruple charge on track.

“But Pep Guardiola is set to recall Jesus to his squad for Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth.

“Guardiola said: “I’ve told the players, don’t play and complain now, if they play they can’t complain, it’s good.”

That’s all for this morning’s Media Watch. Stay with us throughout the day as we bring you coverage of today’s clash at Bournemouth.

And don’t forget, you can enjoy live minute-by-minute updates of today’s game with our Matchday Centre.


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