EPL - Bournemouth v Manchester City

Image copyright: Getty Images

2023/24 English Premier League
Matchday 26
Bournemouth v Manchester City
Vitality Stadium
Bournemouth, England
Saturday, 24 February 2024
Kick-off is at 19h30 
Manchester City will be looking to get their title challenge back on track when they take on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, February 24.
The Citizens saw a six-match winning streak come to an end after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, February 17.
Pep Guardiola's side remain unbeaten in their last nine games, but they slipped to third in the standings, two points behind Arsenal and a further two adrift of league leaders Liverpool.
The Reds cruised to a 4-1 victory over Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium earlier in the day, while the Gunners thumped Burnley 5-0 at Turf Moor.
Aston Villa closed within four points of City in fourth spot thanks to a 2-1 triumph against Fulham at Craven Cottage, with Tottenham dropping back down to fifth after losing 2-1 at home to Wolves.
The Cherries twice squandered the lead to draw 2-2 with Newcastle at St James' Park, which left them winless in their last six encounters and seven points outside the top 10 in 13th position.
Andoni Iraola's side have drawn three of their last four games though, to keep them ticking upwards as they've opened up a nine-point cushion to the relegation zone.
In team news, Romain Faivre (illness) could return against City, but James Hill (ankle), Tyler Adams (thigh), Ryan Fredericks (calf) and Maximillian Aarons (thigh) remain on the sidelines, while Philip Billing (red card) is suspended. Josko Gvardiol (ankle) and Jack Grealish (groin) are definitely out for the visitors, although Bernardo Silva (ankle) and Sergio Gomez could come back into contention.
Iraola questioned the officiating on Tyneside after VAR "disrespected" Bournemouth by awarding the Magpies a late penalty, which was converted by Matt Ritchie in the 92nd minute following a lengthy review.
"I've been really upset with decisions in the last three games. Against Fulham and Nottingham Forest they were not decisions that affected key moments but I was not happy with the refereeing," the Spaniard said.
"But today has affected. It's irritating as we're only going to talk about the referee decisions and not how good my players played. They will talk about the decision and try to bend the rules but it is what it is."

Erling HaalandImage copyright: Getty Images

Guardiola refused to be too critical of Erling Haaland, who failed to convert any of his nine chances against the Blues, two of which were sitters inside the six-yard box.
"I played 11 years and scored 11 goals so I can't give too much advice to Erling," the Spaniard quipped. "The next one he will score. In the first half we didn't perform well and that's what we have to improve."

Head-to-Head (Last Five Premier League Meetings)

Matches - 5
Bournemouth wins - 0
Man City wins - 5
Draws - 0

Premier League Matchday 26 fixtures:

Wednesday, February 21
21h30: Liverpool v Luton Town
Saturday, February 24
17h00: Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest
17h00: Brighton & Hove Albion v Everton
17h00: Crystal Palace v Burnley
17h00: Manchester United v Fulham
19h30: Bournemouth v Manchester City
22h00: Arsenal v Newcastle United
Sunday, February 25
15h30: Wolverhampton Wanderers v Sheffield United
Monday, February 26
22h00: West Ham United v Brentford

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Published: 02/23/2024