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Mateo Kovacic starts, Kevin De Bruyne misses out again – Predicted XI: Bournemouth vs Manchester City (Premier League)



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Manchester City travel to the south coast of England on Saturday evening, as they face AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in Premier League action.

It’s the beginning of the business end of the season and a period of time in which typically brings out the prolific Manchester City, and Brentford were the latest side to feel the wrath of the champions.

Perhaps that’s a bit overkill with the blues not currently in their silky stride just yet, but the form of the treble winners cannot be argued with, winning 12 of their last 13 matches in all competitions.

Andoni Iraola’s Bournemouth sit on the other side of the spectrum heading into this weekend’s meeting, with the Cherries winless in the last four and yet to win a Premier League game since the turn of the calendar year.

However, this hasn’t stopped Pep Guardiola from heaping praise on the hosts on Saturday, with the Manchester City manager calling Bournemouth both “impressive and well organised.”

The lions share of the praise landed on his counterpart though, with Pep Guardiola saying “their coach is exceptional, so aggressive and direct.” The pair have faced off in the Premier League just once before, with the reverse fixture this season ending 6-1 to the Champions.

Despite being heavy favourites for this clash, the away side will be without a couple of key figures, with Guardiola confirming the absences of Jack Grealish and Josko Gvardiol, but has confirmed Kevin De Bruyne has travelled and is “feeling better.”

With that being said, here is the side we predict to start the game on Saturday as we take on AFC Bournemouth!

Predicted XI

Ederson should start this one, following his well-earned clean sheet during the week and largely faultless performances in recent contests to continue to keep Stefan Ortega restricted to cup action.

Kyle Walker is expected to keep his place in the side at right-back, and will once again see the veteran England international take up the Manchester City captaincy role against Bournemouth.

John Stones returned to action alongside his formidable central defensive partner Ruben Dias in order to help keep a clean sheet in midweek, so why should Pep Guardiola be wanting any sort of change here?

We expect the aforementioned pair to start for this one, as well as Nathan Ake to complete the Manchester City defence, with the Dutchman once again being utilised on the left side of a front-three.

As always, the first name on the team sheet will be Rodri, taking up his undroppable role in the deep-lying midfield role for Manchester City.

Kevin De Bruyne is likely to start on the bench for this one given his recent recovery from a slight hamstring concern, so we think Phil Foden will be given a central role once again partnering Mateo Kovacic in midfield.

Bernardo Silva should start this one initially from the right-hand side, but interchanging frequently with Foden to create an overload in midfield, with the pair showing off their incredible versatility.

It was a sentimental 71st minute strike for Erling Haaland against Brentford following the passing of his grandmother recently, and we expect the Norwegian to start up front once again this weekend.

We predict Julian Alvarez to have a rest for this one, with Jeremy Doku starting in his place, completing the side for Saturday’s clash!

Predicted XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Ake; Rodri, Foden, Kovacic; Silva, Haaland, Doku.

Substitutes: Ortega Moreno, Carson, Lewis, Akanji, Gomez, Nunes, De Bruyne, Bobb, Alvarez.