Manchester City travel to Bournemouth for a Premier League clash on Monday, 13 January, as the Citizens look to close the gap on Chelsea to eight points and become their nearest challengers for the title.
Where to watch live
Kick-off is set for 8pm GMT. Live coverage of the game will be on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD.
Bournemouth have struggled in recent weeks which has put Eddie Howe's future under a cloud, especially with the clubs below them picking up results with consummate ease. They have a six-point gap with the bottom three. It is still some way off from being at risk of suffering relegation, but with the likes of Swansea City, Hull City and Sunderland picking up crucial points on a regular basis, the lead can disappear pretty quickly.
The Cherries are searching for their first win of 2017, losing four and drawing two of their six games since the turn of the year. They have also crashed out of the FA Cup in the meantime and forfeited a three-goal lead against Arsenal in the beginning of the year. They have conceded 19 goals in the last six games, including six against Everton last week.
City will emerge as the closest challengers to Chelsea should they win against Bournemouth. Three points here would be their best run of form since the beginning of the season when they won 10 on the bounce. They are currently on a run of three back to back wins in all competitions.
Sergio Aguero is likely to start from the bench yet again to accommodate Gabriel Jesus, who is set to become the third City player ever to score in three Premier League starts since his debut for the club. Fernandinho is set to keep his place at right-back after their 5-0 thrashing of West Ham last weekend.
What Managers Say
Eddie Howe: "We're going to need to be very good this week to get anything against City. We respect their players but we can't be fearful. The times we've played Manchester City they've been excellent. We've aspired to play at their level and the challenge is to match them. Every game is different; every challenge is different in the Premier League. The game requires certain things - we will look at this game individually and try to make the right calls. Yes, we have tough games but that is the league we are in, we can't shy away from the challenges that we face. We have done well against some top teams this year. There has been no problem there, we've been able to be very competitive and inspire ourselves to some great performances and we are going to have to do that again." (via Sky Sports)
Pep Gaurdiola on Wilshere: "We played in the Champions League against that Arsenal team and it was a massive impression he made. He arrived at a high level. I know the problem with Jack Wilshere is just one – the injuries. If he can be a bit lucky to play regularly for one season he is going to be back as one of the best midfielders in England, by far. He has quality, is smart, has the special quality when he has the ball to dribble past holding midfielders and attack the central defenders. It is not easy to do that – it is a little bit like [Mousa] Dembele from Tottenham. They have this quality to pass, pass, pass and then immediately go for 10 metres on the ball. That destroys all the defensive structures in the world. He has this quality. I am happy as a football fan he is back and playing regularly. Hopefully on Monday he can play. I think in the situation Arsenal have right now, if he was fit, he would be playing." (via soccerway)
Betting Odds (betfair)
- Bournemouth win: 6
- Draw: 4
- Manchester City win: 4/9
Possible XI: Boruc; Smith, Francis, Cook, Mings; Arter, Surman, Fraser, Wilshere, Pugh; King
Possible XI: Caballero; Fernandinho, Stones, Kompany, Clichy; De Bruyne, Toure, Silva; Sterling, Jesus, Sane