Liverpool will be looking to maintain the pressure on league leaders Manchester City with all three points against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Bournemouth have had a good start to the season. But, most of their early heat has been neutralised, especially after a run of four straight losses. The streak came to an end during the midweek, with the Cherries earning a hard-fought 2-1 win over Huddersfield. Still, Eddie Howe would be hoping his side can return to their early season form soon.
Limping might not be the proper word to use for Liverpool’s wins recently. But, the Reds do seem far from their dominant selves in recent matches. Their defeats to FK Crvena Zvezda and PSG in the Champions League might have put a bit of dent in their form.
But, as far as the Premier league is concerned, Liverpool have been a force worth reckoning, with the Reds the only side aside from league leaders Manchester City to remain undefeated.
Bournemouth were on the receiving end of a 4-0 battering during Liverpool’s last visit to Dean Court, something the home side will be hoping they improve upon massively on Saturday. We now take a closer look at the two squads.
Team News & Tactics
Adam Smith and Dan Gosling are out with long-term injuries, with Lewis Cook joining the two on the list after a ruptured cruciate ligament against Huddersfield that is expected to keep him out for around 6 months. Apart from the three injuries, a handy part of the squad that took the field against Huddersfield during the midweek will be jaded after what was a strenuous second half.
The 4-4-2 seems to be working for Eddie Howe and the manager is likely to retain the formation and most of the starting eleven from the 2-1 win over Huddersfield, provided the players are not in need of a rest.
The one area where Howe is forced to change a player is the central midfield, with Lewis Cook’s injury likely to pave the way for the experienced Andrew Surman to return to the lineup and partner Jefferson Lerma. Ryan Fraser and David Brooks have been brilliant for Bournemouth all season and are guaranteed starters whenever fit. The two should start.
The back four is likely to remain the same, with Nathan Ake building a good partnership with Steve Cook in central defence. There are no changes expected to be made by Howe for the Liverpool game, with the manager likely to take a risk with some players, even if they are struggling to be 100% fit after the midweek tie.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Begovic; Francis, Cook, Ake, Daniels; Brooks, Surman, Lerma, Fraser; King, Wilson
Jurgen Klopp has his hands tied with a few selection issues. For one, there are a lot of players injured or doubtful and the manager is unlikely to risk fielding any of the ‘doubtful’ ones, especially with the make-it-or-Europa League Champions League tie on the horizon.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain is joined by Joe Gomez on the injury list, with the latter out for at least six weeks after suffering a fracture in the left leg in the 3-1 win over Burnley. Andrew Robertson and Sadio Mane are doubts and should not start on Saturday.
The 4-4-2 did not work for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp is likely to revert to a 4-3-3, with an attacking midfielder, which essentially translates to a 4-2-3-1. In fact, with Roberto Firmino playing mostly as a second striker to Mohamed Salah, the formation becomes a lot like a modern 4-2-2-2.
That is exactly what is expected, with Xherdan Shaqiri and Adam Lallana likely to be the two midfielders behind Salah and Firmino. In central midfield, Fabinho and Naby Keita should earn starts. Joe Gomez will be replaced by Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right, with the left spot likely to be filled up by Alberto Moreno.
Joel Matip will retain his spot in central defence, especially with Dejan Lovren still on the sidelines. Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker complete the starting eleven.
Note: There is a chance Andrew Robertson starts instead of Alberto Moreno.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Moreno; Keita, Fabinho; Shaqiri, Firmino, Lallana; Salah
1. Liverpool to win @ 1.60
2. Both Teams to Score – YES @ 1.70
1. Callum Wilson to score anytime @ 3.10
1. The three Premier League games between Bournemouth and Liverpool that have been played thus far at Dean Court have been high-scoring affairs, with a total of 14 goals scored.
2. Despite a run of four losses in a row before the win over Huddersfield, Bournemouth have managed to get on the scoresheet in their last six Premier League matches.
3. Liverpool’s goal difference (+24) is greater than the points Bournemouth have against their name (23) on the Premier League table.
4. Liverpool have won all the eight games in all competitions this season whenever Mohamed Salah’s name has been on the scoresheet.
5. Xherdan Shaqiri has 3 goals and 2 assists in 169 minutes of Premier League football this season.
Player to Watch
There is a very low chance of Alberto Moreno starting on Saturday. But, if the Spaniard does start, he could give Liverpool and the other clubs in Europe something to think about, especially with his current deal set to run out at the end of the season. With January approaching, this might be the ideal time for Moreno to give a good account of his abilities.
Also, with games coming thick and fast in December, Alberto Moreno could get a few more games than expected, if he manages to impress Jurgen Klopp in the chances that he will be provided, starting with Saturday.
Bournemouth 1-1 Liverpool
We expect Jurgen Klopp not to risk the likes of Andrew Robertson and Sadio Mane, two key players within the Liverpool squad. While Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino’s return to the starting eleven should boost Liverpool, their performances haven’t really been up to the mark if compared to their early season blitz.
With Bournemouth having a decent home record and Liverpool not really the best version of their own selves, we expect the two teams to play out a scoring draw. Do not be surprised if Liverpool do end up snatching a winner or eking into the lead for all three points.