Bournemouth play host to Man City at the Vitality Stadium. The hosts claimed a shock 1-0 win away to Wolves last week whilst City themselves were shocked by only drawing 1-1 away to Forest. It is no surprise to see Pep Guardiola’s men clear favourites to win this match, but could they let slip yet more points?
For you Friday night fanatics, I’ve covered the stats behind both teams for xG, goals, shots, corners, passes, cards and fouls. So if you’re picking a bet builder, you can back your bets with data alongside my Stats Pack Guide.
Bournemouth still have a few long term injuries including Stanislas, Brooks and Lewis Cook. It is close at centre back between Jack Stephens and Chris Mepham, with the former likely to keep his place in the side.
Jaidon Anthony and Kieffer Moore may have to be content with a place on the bench again with Solanke and Ouattara unlikely to be removed from the XI.
Key Man City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne missed the Champions League trip to Leipzig due to illness. He is reportedly back in training but could be a doubt to start. Pep Guardiola made no substitutions in midweek which might point towards a potential plan here regarding who features.
As always with the Man City lineup, several changes are always possible in any areas of the field, but defender Aymeric Laporte is ruled out of the contest by the manager.
Bournemouth average 0.91 goals per game and 1.91 goals against. This is very much in line with their xG and xGA metrics. They have only hit an average of 8.48 shots per match which is a really low figure. At the other end of the field the Cherries have been fired upon 15.90 times in each match.
The south coast club have not obtained many corners this season at just 3.70 per match. They’ve conceded nearly double the number of corners at the other end of the field (6.96). Cards have been on the lower side in Bournemouth games, picking up 1.70 in each game. They’ve been fairly clean, but only managed to draw 1.52 cards from their opponents.
Man City average an astronomical 2.50 goals per game and just 1.00 goals against. This correlates closely to their xG and xGA metrics and they are legitimately strong team at both ends of the field. City fire 16.42 shots per game with 5.58 SOT. Their opponents have only averaged 7.37 shots in each fixture with the SOT against rate as low as 2.21.
Pep Guardiola’s men average 6.5 corners per game and just 2.38 against. They have been extremely well disciplined, picking up just 1.17 cards in each match. They’ve drawn their opponents into 2.37 cards in each fixture. A lot depends just how much teams sit off their players or whether they will engage more.
Player shots and shots on target
Dominic Solanke averages 2.31 shots per 90 mins at a reasonable accuracy rate of 0.95. From more limited data, big money January signing Dango Outtara has fired in 2.86 attempts per 90 mins although hasn’t hit the target much.
Both Billing and Tavernier average over one shot per 90 mins and winger Jaidon Anthony is nearly at the 2.0 mark, although he’s more likely to be used as a substitute.
Erling Haaland averages 3.68 shots per 90 mins with an impressive 1.84 SOT. He has been criticised for being below par recently and not getting involved in matches as much as he could. City are a team who shoot regularly and loads of other candidates average over 2 shots per 90 mins.
A lot depends on the starting lineup but both Mahrez and De Bruyne are always interesting candidates because they are on set piece duty. Ilkay Gundogan is also someone who likes to fire in the shots at 2.25 per 90 mins.
Player goals and assists
Billing and Kieffer Moore are the joint top scorers with four goals each. Solanke has three goals and is the joint top assist provider along with Tavernier with four. The Cherries have struggled for goals all season and this list generally makes for fairly bleak reading.
Erling Haaland has been on fire this season and has 25 goals. He usually makes mincemeat of the lesser teams who can’t defend. He will be hungry for goals after a leaner spell. Phil Foden has seven goals and four assists, but his minutes can be sporadic.
Kevin De Bruyne leads the Citizens for assists with 12 but hasn’t quite seemed the same player since the World Cup. He is overdue for a big performance soon. Riyad Mahrez has been in decent form and is a candidate for goals and assists should he start.
Bournemouth only average 39% possession which is the lowest of any team in the Premier League. It is difficult to envisage them having much of the ball here, it might even be 30% or lower. Only two of their players average more than 40 passes per 90 mins, Senesi and Lerma. There’s not even a guarantee that anyone in the team will rack up more than 30 passes in this fixture.
Man City average the most possession of any team in the Premier League, amassing a massive 66% of the ball. They have several players who all average close to, or above 80 passes per 90 mins.
The player who warrants closest consideration is probably Rodri. He’s one of the few players likely to last the full 90 mins for City and averages a massive 92.4 passes! The trio of Walker, Dias & Ake would all likely rack up big passing numbers if they start the match and last most of the duration.
In general Gary O’Neil’s men have been fairly clean this season only averaging 1.70 cards per game. The biggest offender has been right back Adam Smith who fouls on average 1.04 times per 90 mins. He has a horrible looking matchup vs Jack Grealish.
Two other candidates for fouls and cards might be Philip Billing and centre back Marcos Senesi who might have to handle De Bruyne or Silva and Haaland respectively. Bournemouth might sit off and not engage much here which would reduce their fouls and cards count.
Jack Grealish is a foul magnet and is extremely difficult to tackle cleanly. He averages nearly 4.5 dribbles per 90 mins and is fouled 3.45 times. Veteran. Riyad Mahrez is another who will cause problems with his trickery and dribbling. More centrally, both De Bruyne or Silva and potentially Foden are likely to draw fouls.
Matchups to watch
Adam Smith vs Jack Grealish
Marcos Senesi vs Erling Braut Haaland
Philip Billing vs Bernardo Silva
Manchester City cards
City are a clean team and don’t pick up many cards. Defensive midfielder Rodri will do most of their dirty work. He has three cards and fouls on average 1.43 times per 90 mins. Some of the attackers will press from the front so the likes of Haaland, Mahrez, Silva and Grealish will probably produce one foul at some stage.
The best chance that Bournemouth have of drawing cards and fouls is on quick counter-attacks which City might try and stop quickly. Billing is fouled 1.37 times per 90 mins and Dominic Solanke 1.66. The latter also has close to 3 dribbles per 90 mins and could be a handful. New signing Ouattara along with midfielder Jefferson Lerma are also two players who could be targeted in transition.
Matchups to watch
Rodri vs Philip Billing
Nathan Ake vs Dango Ouattara
Bernardo Silva vs Jefferson Lerma
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
There’s surely good value in this one, with both teams more than able to take home some points. Here’s a few bet builder selections I liked from the stats pack.