Man City can entertain on the south coast
Kompany poses big threat from set-pieces
Sky Sports Premier League, 12.30pm Saturday
Jermain Defoe scored in ten consecutive league games for Bournemouth as a teenage loanee in the third division in 2000-01 but the Cherries are facing a different calibre of opposition these days.
Defoe could make his first Premier League start for the club against title favourites Manchester City – a side who have won their last four meetings with Bournemouth by an aggregate score of 15-1.
That statistic, along with the Cherries’ disappointing defeats to West Brom (1-0) and Watford (2-0), means plenty of punters will be looking to the 1-3 Citizens to get their Saturday accumulators up and running.
They controlled the game well at Brighton, breaking down their disciplined hosts with two late goals, and battled back to claim a 1-1 draw with Everton despite going a goal down and having Kyle Walker sent off shortly before half-time.
Brazilian Danilo, signed from Real Madrid in the summer, is a capable deputy for the suspended Walker and Bournemouth’s defenders should be kept busy by a thrilling City forward line.
Sergio Aguero is aiming to score in his eighth straight away league game while Gabriel Jesus, David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Leroy Sane provide a terrific variety of attacking threat.
Bournemouth struggled in this type of fixture last term, conceding 37 goals against the top seven, but Eddie Howe does not have the players to sit back and attempt to stifle the visitors.
An attacking approach served Bournemouth well at times in 2016-17 as they beat Liverpool 4-3 and drew 3-3 with Arsenal (having gone 3-0 up).
Their toothless displays against West Brom and Watford didn’t live up to the style of play demanded by Howe, and in Defoe and Josh King they have the forwards to land a blow on Pep Guardiola’s expensively assembled defence.
The pair scored 31 league goals between them last season and the 7-4 about a City win with both teams scoring merits a bet.
At a far bigger price, take a chance on Vincent Kompany opening the scoring.
The City skipper returned from injury at the end of last season in good goalscoring form, notching three times in his last seven appearances.
He scored the first goal of the game on the trips to Southampton in April and Watford on the final day of the Premier League season and the burly Belgian could cause problems at set-pieces.
Bournemouth conceded 11 times from dead-ball situations last season and they struggled against West Brom’s aerial threat in their first fixture of this term.
The Baggies got their winner when defender Ahmed Hegazi headed in from a free-kick and De Bruyne’s lovely set-piece delivery means the Cherries could be exposed once again.
Manchester City to win & both teams to score
2pts 7-4 general
V Kompany first goalscorer
0.5pt each-way 25-1 bet365
Simon Francis joins Callum Wilson and Junior Stanislas on the sidelines. Jermain Defoe is set to make his first Premier League start for the Cherries.
Danilo replaces the suspended Kyle Walker at right-back and Benjamin Mendy (thigh) could be named in the City squad for the first time.
Bournemouth conceded 37 goals in 14 games against the Premier League’s top seven last season.