Manchester City can give themselves an early Christmas present with a win when they welcome Bournemouth to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Victory over the Cherries would see Pep Guardiola's side move 14 points clear of Manchester United - temporarily at least - and it would stretch their unbeaten run in the league to 19 games.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, are in desperate need of a win as they slip towards a relegation battle, but it must be said that Eddie Howe's men have had a difficult run of games in recent weeks.
|Game||Manchester City vs Bournemouth|
|Date||Saturday, December 23|
|Time||15:00 GMT / 10:00 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the United States (US) the game is available to watch live on television on NBCSN and can be streamed live online using the NBC Sports app.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|NBCSN||NBC Sports app|
The game is not being shown live in the United Kingdom (UK) but highlights will be available to watch on BBC. Goal will have live updates here.
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Position||Man City players|
|Goalkeepers||Ederson, Bravo, Grimshaw|
|Defenders||Walker, Danilo, Mangala, Adarabioyo, Otamendi, Duhaney|
|Midfielders||Sterling, Gundogan, Delph, De Bruyne, Sane, Bernardo, D. Silva, Fernandinho, Zinchenko, Toure, Diaz, Foden|
|Forwards||Aguero, Jesus, Nmecha|
Man City will be without a number of defenders for the game with John Stones and Benjamin Mendy both ruled out. There are lingering concerns over Vincent Kompany's fitness, but, given how light they are at the back, Guardiola may risk the Belgium international.
David Silva missed the last two games due to personal reasons but could be in line for a return to the team on Saturday.
Potential Man City starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Mangala, Otamendi, Delph; De Bruyne, Gundogan, D. Silva, Sterling, Sane; Jesus.
|Goalkeepers||Boruc, Begovic, Ramsdale|
|Defenders||Francis, S. Cook, Ake, A. Smith, Mings, Simpson|
|Midfielders||Gosling, Surman, Pugh, Arter, L. Cook, Stanislas, Hyndman, Mahoney, Fraser, Ibe, Butcher|
|Forwards||Afobe, Wilson, Mousset|
Bournemouth have been dealt a series of injuries to contend with over the Christmas period, with a number of players likely to miss the game against City.
Jermain Defoe (ankle) and Harry Arter (calf) came off during their mid-week Carabao Cup defeat to Chelsea and, while Arter could potentially feature, Defoe has been sent to a specialist.
Charlie Daniels is carrying an Achilles tendon injury and it is unclear whether he will be passed fit to play. Those individuals join Josh King, Brad Smith and Tyrone Mings on the sidelines.
Potential Bournemouth starting XI: Begovic; Francis, Cook, Ake; Fraser, A. Smith; Surman, Gosling, L. Cook; Mousset, Ibe.
BETTING & MATCH ODDS
Runaway league leaders Man City are deemed 1/9 favourites to win by dabblebet, while Bournemouth are priced at a lengthy 22/1 to beat the Blues. A draw is available at 9/1.
Sergio Aguero is City's top scorer this season and the Argentine is 2/1 to score first. His Brazilian colleague Gabriel Jesus follows at 21/10.
Man City return to league action against Bournemouth following a hard-earned penalty victory in the Carabao Cup quarter-final and they can potentially move 14 points clear at the top of the table with a win, depending on results elsewhere.
At the rate they are performing, City could well have the title wrapped up early in the new year and their gritty victory over Leicester City during the week demonstrated that they not only possess the most skilful and talented players in England, but an abundance of character to match.
Guardiola has fostered a sense of unity and belief among his players that has seen them snatch wins at the death and Bournemouth are all too aware of that capacity, having suffered a cruel last-minute defeat at the Vitality Stadium back in August.
The games come thick and fast over the festive period and the self-styled 'Shark Team' will be eager to keep moving forward towards league glory by sweeping aside the Cherries.