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2022/23 English Premier League
Bournemouth v Manchester City
Saturday, 25 February 2023
Kick-off is at 19h30
Manchester City will be determined to get their Premier League
title challenge back on track when they clash with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, February 25.
The Citizens moved to the top of the table when they beat Arsenal 3-1 on February 15 before slipping back into second place after being held to a 1-1 draw by Nottingham Forest last Saturday.
The Gunners moved two points clear of Pep Guardiola's side with a 4-2 comeback win over Aston Villa, while Manchester United ran out 3-0 victors over Leicester last Sunday to close within three points of their neighbours in third spot.
Newcastle's patchy form continued with a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool, which allowed Tottenham to leapfrog them into fourth position after seeing off West Ham by the same scoreline.
Meanwhile, the Cherries gave their survival hopes a shot in the arm as they edged Wolves 1-0 last Saturday to arrest a seven-match winless run in the league.
It was only their fifth victory of the season and the first since domestic duties resumed in December after the World Cup break.
Gary O'Neil's team climbed out of the relegation zone up to 17th place, one point clear of West Ham (18th), level with Everton (16th) and two behind Wolves (15th).
Neto is expected to have a busy evening in the home goal on the south coast, with City the highest scorers in the league after netting 60 goals in 24 games. The 33-year-old goalkeeper started the season on the bench but quickly established himself as first choice between the posts and has kept three clean sheets in 13 appearances.
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Jack Grealish was handed his sixth consecutive league start against Forest after getting on the scoresheet against Arsenal three days earlier to take his tally for the campaign three goals. The 27-year-old winger set up Bernardo Silva for the opener at the City Ground and now has four assists to his name as well.
In team news, the hosts continue to be without a whole host of players, although Lloyd Kelly (leg), Illia Zabarnyi (foot), Marcus Tavernier (thigh), Jefferson Lerma (illness) and Junior Stanislas could make their comebacks before the end of the month. David Brooks (thigh) and Lewis Cook (knee) are longer-term absentees. The visitors have an almost-fully fit squad, with only John Stones (thigh) set to miss the journey south.
O'Neil was pleased to pick up his fourth win of the season since replacing Scott Parker at the helm in August as it enabled the Cherries to escape the drop zone for the time being.
"I haven't seen the other results, I'm purely focused on our ones. No matter what the other results were today, it won't take anything away from our one," he said.
Guardiola felt City deserved to come away from West Bridgford with maximum points but acknowledged they were made to pay for not converting a plethora of chances.
"I don't think we got what we deserved but football is not about getting what you deserve. At the end, you have to score the goals," the Spaniard said.
"Phil [Foden] has to score. [Erling] Haaland has to score, Aymer [Laporte] has to score and today, with his shots, Kevin [De Bruyne] has to be more accurate."
Head-to-Head (Last Five Premier League Meetings)
Matches - 5
Bournemouth - 0
Man City - 5
Draws - 0
Premier League fixtures - matchday 25:
Friday, February 24
22h00: Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Saturday, February 25
17h00: Everton v Aston Villa
17h00: Leeds United v Southampton
17h00: Leicester City v Arsenal
17h00: West Ham United v Nottingham Forest
19h30: Bournemouth v Manchester City
21h45: Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Sunday, February 26
15h30: Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea
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