Premier League Preview and Prediction: Bournemouth vs Liverpool

Competition: Premier League – Bournemouth vs. Liverpool

Venue: Vitality Stadium – Sunday, December 4 – 13:30 GMT (08:30 ET)

Match Odds: Bournemouth 16/5 – Draw 29/10 – Liverpool 3/4

Match Preview

Bournemouth welcome Liverpool to the Vitality Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a game that has the makings of one-way traffic.

Eddie Howe’s side are in a respectable 12th position, they’ve picked up 15 points already this season but have struggled over the last five games.

Bournemouth come into this one having played another title contender last weekend. Their 3-1 loss against Arsenal had plenty of talking points and the result may have been very different on another day.

The Cherries need to get back to picking up points on a regular basis. They’ve only taken four points from the last 15 on offer to them and despite being six places above the relegation zone, the gap is just four points.

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Liverpool have been on a superb run of form of late. They trail top spot by just one point and will be hoping results go in their favour this weekend so they can force their way into first place.

Jurgen Klopp has a selection headache ahead of this tie. His squad has been hit by an injury crisis, but he is not phased, and believes in any players he is selecting.

Liverpool come into this tie having progressed to the semifinal of the League Cup with their midweek win over Leeds.

The Reds are unbeaten in their last 11 league games and have picked up 13 points from the last 15 on offer. This is a winnable game for Liverpool, but they will be worked hard by an energetic Bournemouth side.

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Team News

Howe is expecting to be without Lewis Cook and Andrew Surman, while both Artur Boruc and Charlie Daniels are doubts for the visit of Liverpool.

Klopp’s side has been hit with an unenviable injury list. Philippe Coutinho, Danny Ings and Daniel Sturridge are all out, while Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip are all doubts.

Key Points

Bournemouth’s last five: D/L/L/W/L

Liverpool’s last five: W/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Liverpool have scored at least two goals in eight of their last ten Premier League games.

Key Player: James Milner – Liverpool will be looking for Milner to bring a calming presence to the side as they head into the Christmas period with a squad riddled with injuries. The Englishman has plenty of experience and he will be a key figure once again this weekend.

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Score Prediction

Bournemouth 1-3 Liverpool – Bournemouth to become the latest victim of an impressive display from Klopp’s Liverpool. If history is anything to go by Bournemouth will struggle here, they have lost their last five games against Liverpool in all competitions.

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TRANSFER ROUNDUP: Arsenal to hijack £21m United target, Pirlo-NYCFC update

Daily transfer roundup (Thursday, June 4)

MLS Rumours

Andrea Pirlo has not yet decided on his future, despite reports indicating he has agreed to join New York City FC this summer, reports La Gazzetta Dello Sport. (REPORT)

While US international defender Oguchi Onyewu has not yet sealed a move to NYCFC as an injury is delaying any signing of a contract with the MLS Expansion Franchise. (REPORT)

Premier League Rumours

Arsenal look set to hijack Manchester United’s move for Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca and will make a £21 million move to sign the Colombian this summer. Spurs have also been linked. (REPORT)

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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is keen on signing AS Monaco forward Radamel Falcao despite his unsuccessful stint at Manchester United and will sell Juan Cuadrado to fund the move. (REPORT)

Tottenham will battle with Southampton for the signing of Sporting Lisbon midfielder Adrien Silva. He is valued at around £9 million. (REPORT)

Done Deals

Liverpool have agreed a deal to sign Manchester City midfielder James Milner this summer when his contract expires at the end of the month, subject to a medical. (REPORT)

Watford FC have confirmed the signing of Lithuanian international goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis from Steaua Bucharest. (REPORT)

Done Deal: Is new Liverpool signing ideal Gerrard replacement?

The news from Liverpool this morning is that the club have agreed to sign James Milner from Manchester City on a free transfer.

The 29-year-old midfielder has left City in search for regular playing time and the vacant space from Steven Gerrard‘s Major League Soccer departure makes it an ideal move for both parties.

Milner can be used as a utility man, having played just about everywhere on the pitch, but this could be his chance to lock down a more consistent role in the middle of the park.

He brings in experience at the highest level, although not as decorated as Gerrard, his Champions and Europa League experience is vital for Liverpool in their quest to break back into the top four.

Despite Gerrard and Milner being different types of players, the two do draw similarities. Defensively Milner is a very tidy player, with a no nonsense, tough tackling approach, but he deserves recognition for his attacking side to the game.

Milner played in 32 of City’s Premier League games this season, but frustratingly for him, 14 of those were from the bench. He scored five goals and registered seven assists. The England International has played predominantly on the righthand side but a move infield could be favourable and could also be a bonus for the national side, as he would be playing alongside his England teammate, Jordan Henderson.

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Milner has a winning mentality, having won two Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a League Cup in his time with the Manchester club.

As a free transfer this is a positive signing for Liverpool, Milner is in the peak of his career and could potentially be at the club for the remainder of his playing days.

Is James Milner a good signing for Liverpool and can he help to fill the void left by Gerrard?

Arsenal moving closer to DOUBLE signing as Wenger refuses to rule out moves

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has refused to rule out moves for English duo Raheem Sterling and James Milner this summer as the Gunners look to be busy in the transfer market once again.

Sterling is one of this summer’s biggest transfer stories as he looks like he could be leaving Liverpool after contract talks have yet to prove successful.

Arsenal are one of several clubs linked with a move for the 20-year-old attacker, who is reportedly set to tell Liverpool he wants to leave, and Wenger did little to quash rumours of a Gunners bid.

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“We will bid for people, yes, but at the moment we are not in transfer mode at all,” he said in his press conference ahead of the game against Sunderland on Wednesday night.

When asked specifically about a Sterling bid, Wenger replied: “You want me absolutely to say something that I don’t want to say … I don’t like to lie so if I say I will [bid] and I don’t do it, you will say I lied.”

Another Englishman strongly linked with a move to the Emirates is Manchester City‘s James Milner and Wenger has not ruled out a move for the soon to be free agent.

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“29 is not old,” Wenger said when pressed on Milner.

“We have a big squad at the moment and that is not in mind at all. I make my decisions after the season.

“We are in front of a big game tomorrow and are focussed on that.”

Should Arsenal make moves for Raheem Sterling and James Milner this summer? Do they need more midfielders?

Liverpool suffer BLOW in chase for Manchester City star

Liverpool have suffered a huge blow in their pursuit of Manchester City‘s James Milner as Manuel Pellegrini wants him to stay at the Etihad, according to Sky Sports.

Milner netted City’s second goal against Swansea this weekend and his performance once again showed his desire and commitment to the club. His contract is up at the end of the season and the 29-year-old midfielder would be a great addition to any Premier League squad, especially on a free transfer.

Pellegrini wants Milner to stay but highlighted it is important for his utility man to help make the decision.

“It’s a decision James must take at the end of season, what is better for his future,” he said.

“I always talk that he is an important player for our team, he can play in different positions because he is an intelligent player.”

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The City boss has used the Englishman in 31 league games this season and he is a player any club would want to keep.

“He always gives 100 per cent but it will be sorted at the end of the season.

“I can think (staying at Manchester City) is best him for him but it’s important what he thinks. He is a very important player for us.”

Liverpool and Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for Milner but given Pellegrini’s comments a move away from City could be off the cards.

Will James Milner stay at Manchester City next season?

Arsenal to offer midfield target HUGE £25m contract to secure deal

Arsenal will have to offer Manchester City and England midfielder, James Milner, a huge four-year deal worth around £25 million if they are to beat off competition from other clubs to his signature this summer.

Milner’s current City deal is worth around £120,000-a-week but with that set to expire in the summer, his future at the club is still unclear and an exit is looking likely.

The 29-year-old midfield ace has reportedly turned down a three-year extension worth £80,000-a-week as he wants to remain on similar wages and so he could be on the move.

Liverpool, Valencia, Inter Milan and Arsenal have all been linked with the versatile midfield star and the Gunners will have to offer him a four-year deal if they are to beat those clubs to his services, according to the Evening Standard.

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A four-year contract on £120,000 per week would see Milner earn £24,960,000 – a staggering amount for a player that wouldn’t be guaranteed regular first team football under Arsene Wenger.

City are still trying to negotiate a new deal with the former Aston Villa and Newcastle man but failure to reach an agreement could see Milner make the move to London with the Gunners.

Morgan Schneiderlin is Wenger’s priority target this summer but Southampton want more than £25 million for the Frenchman and so Arsenal could look to Milner, who wouldn’t cost a transfer fee with his contract up at the end of June.

Should Arsenal sign James Milner? Would he better off staying with Manchester City?

Inter Milan set sights on HUGE move for Manchester City trio

Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini is preparing a raid on his former club for Manchester City trio Yaya Toure, James Milner and Samir Nasri, according to the Daily Mail.

Mancini is planning to reshape his Inter side by signing the three midfielders he brought to City during his spell at the Premier League club.

James Milner is out of contract in the summer and has attracted interest from a number of clubs after a solid season and could favour a reunion with his former coach in Italy.

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Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri have not enjoyed the best of seasons and have failed to make their usual impact for the reigning champions.

Inter could hit a snag in their pursuit of Toure due to his high wages at a reported £200,000-a-week. Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in the Ivorian and a move to the mega rich French club could be a more likely destination, given their extra financial power.

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A move for Samir Nasri is also a possibility for PSG but Mancini will hope his connections with the player can lure him to Inter.

City’s squad has come under fire due to their below-par performances since the turn of the year and there could be major changes at the club over the summer as they are looking to get back on track.

If Mancini is to land all three of his former stars it would go some way to rebuilding his Inter squad who have struggled this season and are sitting 9th in Serie A.

Should Manchester City allow Yaya Toure, James Milner and Samir Nasri leave the club this summer?

City to raid Arsenal and Liverpool in £35m double swoop

Manchester City are interested in signing Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere and Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, according to the Daily Mail, as they look to add a more English feel to their starting lineup from next season.

With Frank Lampard on his way to New York City FC and James Milner’s contract set to expire, City are chasing English replacements.

Wilshere could struggle to force his way back into the Arsenal set-up as Wenger’s current system is working well and his injury-hit career could see the Gunners cash in on 23-year-old midfielder.

Henderson has attracted interest from top Premier League clubs, Chelsea and City, and has only one year left on his Liverpool contract so a move away this summer could be real possibility, especially if the Reds fail to qualify for the Champions League.

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With the pair rated around £42 million combined – Wilshere £22m and Henderson £20m, according to transfermarkt.co.uk, they could be achievable signings for City.

The Manchester club has delved into Arsenal’s squad on many occasions, spending around £80m on Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri, Kolo Toure and Bacary Sagna in the past and clearly appeal to the Gunners’ stars as they appear to pay comparatively higher wages than the North London club.

This would be a more favourable financial move than rumoured signing of top European target, Paul Pogba. The Juventus star is attracting interest from Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United to name a few but will cost more than Wilshere and Henderson combined.

Should Manchester City sign Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson this summer? Are they the players they need?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Burnley vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Burnley vs Manchester City 

Venue: Turf Moor – Saturday, March 14 – 17:30 GMT (13:30 ET)

Match Odds: Burnley 6/1 – Draw 15/4 – Manchester City 2/5

Match Preview

Burnley entertain champions Manchester City at Turf Moor in this weekend’s evening fixture on Saturday night as the Clarets’ battle against relegation continues with another real tough game.

Sean Dyche’s men are currently sitting 19th in the table on 22 points, and are going to need to pick up points fast if they are to survive the drop.

Manchester City are chasing Premier League leaders Chelsea. They are five points behind and have played a game more. They will more than likely need to win every game in the run in if they are to stand any chance of retaining their title.

The reverse fixture saw late drama as Ashley Barnes stole a share of the points at the Etihad in a thrilling 2-2 draw back in December.

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Burnley have proved this season they have what it takes to upset the big teams and will need to adopt that mentality once again as Manchester City will be expecting to come away with all three points.

There are no easy games in the Premier League and Burnley need to make their home advantage pay off as they will look to frustrate Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

Burnley come into the tie on a seven-game winless streak and they face no tougher challenge than this in an attempt to put that run to bed.

Man City have three wins in their last five but have missed their chance to close the gap on Chelsea and will be aware they cannot afford anymore slip-ups.

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Burnley are at a difficult point of the season and things will only get harder in the run in if they are to continue their winless run, but just 12 points separate the bottom eight so nothing is settled yet.

Manchester City do not only need points to continue their title chase but also need them to fend off the sides below them in the table, as they are just four points ahead of third placed Arsenal.

With so much at stake here we could be in for a really entertaining tie between the Clarets and the Citizens.

Team News

Burnley are set to be without three faces, Dean Marney and Kevin Long (both knee) and Matt Taylor (calf). Danny Ings is a doubt but should be fit to play and the pressure is on him to score the goals to help Burnley avoid the drop. He will want to continue to impress as he has done so far this season.

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Manchester City are one of only two Premier League sides to have a fully fit squad at this stage of the season. Pellegrini has talent in abundance to switch his side around. We could see James Milner rewarded with a start, having come off the bench to score against Leicester City late on in their last fixture.

Key Points

Burnley’s last five in the Premier League: D/L/D/L/L

Manchester City’s last five in the Premier League: D/W/W/L/W

Key Stat: Goals – The two sides have scored 17 goals in their last three meetings and with Sergio Aguero in fine form we could see yet another goal-fest at Turf Moor.

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Key Player: Sergio Aguero – City have certainly missed the Argentine when he has been absent this season and they have his goals to thank for still being within a chance of still winning the title. He will look to make the difference one again on Saturday.

Score Prediction

Burnley 1-3 Manchester City – Pellegrini will not want a repeat of the draw earlier in the season and his players will be looking to kill this game early. Burnley have scored goals against big sides this campaign but they are in for a difficult evening in front of their own fans and City’s quality will shine through.

How important is James Milner to Manchester City?

There has been much talk of whether or not James Milner will get a new Manchester City contract and Lewis Addley explores his importance to the side…

James Milner has been enjoying some of the best form of his career and certainly his best performances for Manchester City in recent times.

Milner has featured 22 times in the Premier League so far this season and as well as scoring the important equalising goal against Hull City two weeks ago, he also netted in the 4-1 win at Stoke. He now has five goals in all competitions, including one in the Champions League.

His contract is due to expire at the end of this season and it isn’t clear yet whether or not it will be renewed, though Manuel Pellegrini has been quick to praise the 29-year-old midfielder already this season.

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“James is a very important player for our team. Knowing the way he thinks we will see the same Milner with a contract or without a contract. He is a great professional,” the City boss said.

The former Aston Villa and Newcastle man is a doubt for Manchester City’s game against the Magpies this weekend as well as their Champions League tie against Barcelona next Tuesday, and he will be missed in both of those games.

Milner is a tremendous utility player and can play as a right-back as well as numerous midfield positions. He can comfortably play on either wing, or even as the playmaker in behind the striker as he did so effectively at Stoke in the Citizens’ last game.

Milner covered more ground than any other player this season during that game as he ran an incredible 13.56km over the course of 90 minutes, deservedly picking up a goal and an assist for his efforts.

Numerous Premier League clubs would be interested in signing James Milner if he is to leave City in the summer and it would be a loss to the reigning champions as he is one of their most effective midfielders.

James Milner's Premier League stats compared to Manchester City's other attacking midfielders (stats via Squawka)

James Milner’s Premier League stats compared to Manchester City’s other attacking midfielders (stats via Squawka)

Pellegrini has opted to play Milner in a number of big games already this season and needs the England international back to fitness as they face the difficult task of clawing back the difference in the race for the title.

Milner will be required even more so next season as City will lose Frank Lampard this summer as he is set to make his MLS move to New York City FC in July, when his contract expires.

The performances of Milner have certainly shown his desire to earn a new contract and he has a lot to offer the City side. His tenacity and desire to work hard for his team makes Milner one of the most unsung heroes in this Manchester City side and they would likely struggle without him.

Is Milner too important for Manchester City to lose this summer?