Bournemouth-Manchester City Preview
Some massively good news off the pitch might be enough to fuel Manchester City to a strong Premier League finish - and even more success outside the top-flight in 2020.
With their UEFA ban lifted, City aim for a third straight league victory on Wednesday night, and some continued dominance over relegation-threatened Bournemouth at the Etihad.
A second straight Premier League title won't happen this season, but Man City (23-3-9) earned a huge victory on Monday when the Court of Arbitration for Sport pulled the plug on the club's two-year suspension that would have prevented them from taking part in such an event as the Champions League. The club, though, still faces fines for its alleged financial fair play violations.
The Citizens are still alive in the 2020 Champions League competition - plus the FA Cup - and are set to finish second within the league. After losing two of three matches within the top-flight, including a 1-0 loss at Southampton on July 5, City have recorded back-to-back 5-0 victories over Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion.
"We are satisfied with our performance and all we have to do is finish our three games left (in the league) and two cup competitions we have left," manager Pep Guardiola told Manchester City's official website. "We have the FA Cup and the Champions League there. Everybody wants to play these games, everybody is involved."
One player that's certainly been involved is star Raheem Sterling, who recorded a hat trick against Brighton over the weekend to raise his league goal tally to 17. He's totaled 27 goals over all competitions during the 2019-20 campaign.
Sterling had a goal and David Silva posted two assists during a 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Aug. 25. City have outscored the Cherries 28-4 whilst winning all nine Premier League meetings between the two squads.
Bournemouth (8-7-20) find themselves in a serious situation whilst opening the work week atop the relegation zone on 31 points. That's currently three points from safety with only three matches to go.
However, the Cherries got a massive boost with Sunday's rather stunning 4-1 home victory over top-four residents Leicester City. Down 1-0, Dominic Solanke recorded a brace and Junior Stanislas converted a penalty as Bournemouth did all their scoring in the second half and prevailed to end an 0-2-7 Premier League rut.
"In time like this we need to stick together," Solanke, who has three goals over all competitions this season, told Bournemouth's official website. "In the last few weeks we have not managed to get the results we needed. ... We need every point we can get at the moment."
Updated July 13, 2020