Table toppers Manchester City hit Newcastle for six a fortnight ago and will hope to continue their goalscoring exploits as they meet Bournemouth for the first time in 16 years.
City were rocked by injuries to key men over the international break, as Sergio Aguero – who netted five in their rout of the Magpies – David Silva and Aleksandar Kolarov picked up knocks; neither will feature against the Cherries.
Despite those setbacks, Manuel Pellegrini still has an enviable wealth of attacking options at his disposal; Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have made fine starts to their City careers, whilst Aguero’s absence represents a chance for Wilfried Bony to make an impact.
The hosts have scored more goals than any other side in the Premier League this season and welcome back Samir Nasri to add to their options, whilst Vincent Kompany returns at the heart of the defence.
Bournemouth’s terrible luck with injuries has continued, as captain Tommy Elphick has been ruled out until the New Year with an ankle injury; he joins Tyrone Mings, Max Gradel and Callum Wilson on the Cherries’ list of long-term absentees.
Eddie Howe signed a new long-term contract this week but will have his work cut out to earn a result at the Etihad, particularly as the game is likely to come too soon for influential central midfielder Harry Arter to make his Premier League bow.
Artur Boruc’s howler and Glenn Murray’s late missed penalty meant Bournemouth had to settle for a point against Watford last time out. They sit four points above the drop zone heading into this weekend.
League Position: Manchester City – 1st (18 pts); Bournemouth – 15th (8 pts)
Last Meeting: Bournemouth 0-0 Manchester City – February 13th, 1999
Key Men: Manchester City – Kevin de Bruyne; Bournemouth – Matt Ritchie
Form: Manchester City – WWWLLW; Bournemouth – WDLWLD
Shoot Says: Manchester City 3-1 Bournemouth