The international break has been a period of utter devastation for Manuel Pellegrini and he will be venting his frustration behind the scenes at Manchester City. Sergio Aguero's fitness in recent years has always been precarious and despite just starting to reach peak form after his latest injury, he has picked up another hamstring injury for Argentina in their 2-0 defeat to Ecuador that is set to rule him out for up to a month.
Not just the injury to Sergio Aguero to contend with but influential playmaker David Silva also limped off in the very early stages of Spain's win over Luxembourg. The 29-year old midfielder was on the receiving end of a poorly timed tackle from behind that has damaged ankle ligaments that couple take between 2-4 weeks to fully recover from. Pellegrini will be more concerned for the Manchester derby that's coming up later on in October than Saturday's opponents.
City were 1-0 down to Newcastle United in their last fixture but went on to win by a 6-1 score line that was dubbed the Aguero show after the Argentinean forward notched 5 times. They also came back from the same deficit against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League which was imperative given their opening group game loss to Juventus at the Etihad Stadium. After going 5 successive victories and clean sheets in their opening 5 games of the campaign, City have now conceded in each of their last 6 games which coincides with the injury sustained to Vincent Kompany who has missed 5 of those 6 games. Nicolas Otamendi should be a more than capable replacement but the defender signed from Valencia in the summer hasn't quite adjusted to life in the Premier League.
These two sides have met just twice in their history and that came way back in the 1998/1999 season where they met in what is now League 1. It is a testament to both sides in how far they've come and for Bournemouth given their lack of financial clout they've done tremendously well under Eddie Howe in his first reign at the club and now his second stint.
AFC Bournemouth haven't been without their own injury problems however but unlike City don't have a host of world class superstars who are all selected for their countries. Bournemouth's 2 high profile summer signings have both been ruled out with long term injuries as Max Gradel and Tyrone Mings suffered serious knee injuries that will keep them out for the majority of the season. Not only have Bournemouth's record signings been cursed with knee injuries but Bournemouth's main goal scorer Callum Wilson was also struck with a similar type of injury. The dreaded ACL injury sustained by Gradel was unfortunately also on the cards for Wilson in their 2-1 defeat to Stoke City.
The away side have a huge task on their hands now for the rest of the season with 3 of their star assets facing the sidelines for lengthy periods let alone the daunting challenge on Saturday travelling to the 2 time Premier League champions.
Stats: W-6 L-2 D-0
Recent Form - LWLWW
Stats: W-2 L-4 D-2
Recent Form - WLLWD
|12/02/99||League One||AFC Bournemouth||Manchester City||0-0|
|07/09/98||League One||Manchester City||AFC Bournemouth||2-1|
Manchester City (4-2-3-1) - Hart, Zabaleta, Otamendi, Mangala, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Sterling, De Bruyne, Jesus Navas, Bony.
AFC Bournemouth (4-3-3) - Boruc, Distin, Francis, Daniels, Cook, Surman, Gosling, Pugh, Ritchie, Murray, J.King.
Injury List/Suspended Players
Manchester City -David Silva (inj), Kompany (inj), Sergio Aguero (inj), Nasri (inj), Delph (inj)
AFC Bournemouth - Gradel (inj), Wilson (inj), Elphick (inj), Arter (inj), Mings (inj).