After helping the Cherries survive in their debut Premier League season, Eddie Howe, the manager of the side, has made a decent start to the campaign picking up 4 points from the first 4 games. They are fresh from a victory over the Baggies last weekend but will face an uphill task this weekend when they travel to the Etihad on Saturday. Pep Guardiola’s City has made an impeccable start to the campaign, beating every opponent they have faced under the new manager and will be looking to take all three points this weekend. However improbable it may be, Eddie Howe has an equal chance to win the game at kick-off and here are three things he should do to have a shot at a result from this game.
Frustrate the City attack
Though they currently sit at the 14th place in the points table, Bournemouth have been a miserly side at the start of the new season, giving away just 2 goals in their last three Premier League games. They managed to keep a clean sheet against West Brom last weekend with the centre-back pairing of Steve Cook and Simon Francis showing some great mettle at the back.
Pep Guardiola’s side, even on their worst day, will create plenty of chances in front of goal and Howe will hope that his defenders have enough experience and strength in them to keep the home side away from the goal. It will not be easy, but the Cherries will have to be disciplined to take anything from the game. Howe is an attacking manager but he can ill-afford to get his team to play expansive football. Frustrating the City attack, which will no doubt be a bit jaded after their midweek game, is one way of going about it.
Silence the Etihad
Playing away from home, against one of the best sides in the league, is never an easy fixture and Bournemouth will have to be at the top of their game right from kick off to have a chance of taking a result from this trip to Manchester. The Etihad will be buzzing, having seen their team demolish clubs in fine fashion recently but a poor star from their side can easily create commotion in the crowd. Bournemouth need their fans to be heard in the stadium and will need to do something early in the game to create a doubt in the home crowd’s mind to help them have a better chance of beating their opposition.
A noisy Etihad will only make things harder for Howe’s side and they will have to find a way to silence the crowd, which might even have its effects on the players on the field.
The attack will have to be efficient
Even the best teams that Pep Guardiola has managed in the past have looked vulnerable at the back. Guardiola’s sides are known for an attacking approach to the game which often leaves them vulnerable in defence. There have been teams in the past who have taken advantage of such short-comings and Eddie Howe will concentrate on making the most of such situations. He will set up his team to stay compact and give City no space but he has to make sure that they are clever and resourceful with the ball, if and when they get it.
This Manchester City side, however exciting they are, are still at infancy when it comes to adapting to Guardiola’s gameplay and there is no doubt that Bournemouth can get the better of their defence if they are smart and incisive in dangerous areas. Bournemouth will play on the counter and will get their chances while City are unsettled, so they will have to be efficient.
It will not be an easy game to win but as already mentioned, the Cherries have equal chances of taking all three points from the game as City do at kickoff.
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