Liverpool will hope to continue their fine unbeaten run in the Premier League when they take on Bournemouth at Dean Court on Saturday.
The games continue to come thick and fast in the Premier League as Gameweek 16 of the 2019-20 season commences this weekend. Table toppers Liverpool will be among the five ‘Big Six’ teams in action on Saturday, when they will have the chance to bolster their place at the summit, as they lock horns with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
Bournemouth have seen their form drop off a cliff lately, having lost each of their last four games in the Premier League. In fact, their shock 1-0 win over Manchester United last month is their only win in their last nine games in the top-flight, a run of results that have dropped them down to 14th on the table, just 2 points outside the relegation zone.
The Liverpool juggernaut, on the other hand, has showed no signs of stopping in the Premier League. Manchester United are the only side to have denied all three points this season to the Reds, who come into this weekend’s game on the back of a 5-2 thrashing of Everton, which was also Jurgen Klopp’s 100th Premier League win as the Merseyside club’s manager.
The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 4-0 win for Liverpool, with Mohamed Salah netting a match-winning hat-trick. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
Eddie Howe has a spate of injuries to contend with ahead of the visit of Liverpool. On Saturday, the Bournemouth boss is set to be without as many as eight first-team players due to fitness troubles, while Harry Wilson will be the ninth absentee due to his ineligibility to face the Reds.
The terms of Wilson’s loan deal with Bournemouth entail he cannot face his parent club, Liverpool. The Welshman will be sorely missed by an attacking unit that is already without Joshua King due to a thigh injury.
In Wilson’s absence, Arnaut Danjuma is likely to come into the side, starting on the right side of the four-man midfield. On the opposite flank, Ryan Fraser is a certain starter, but the Scottish international needs to pull his socks up, having flattered to deceive this season so far.
Fraser and Danjuma will flank Jefferson Lerma and Philip Billing, with the former holding the fort in front of the defence, while Billing will look to take up more advanced positions in the field. Meanwhile, with King unavailable, Callum Wilson will have Dominic Solanke as his strike partner.
Defence also presents some concern for Bournemouth, with Adam Smith sidelined due to an ankle injury that he sustained against Crystal Palace earlier this week. Steve Cook and Charlie Daniels are also unavailable, meaning Howe is down to his bare bones in defensive assets.
Jack Stacey, Diego Rico, Chris Mepham and Nathan Ake will, therefore, form the back four against Liverpool, with Aaron Ramsdale taking his place in the Bournemouth goal.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Ramsdale; Stacey, Mepham, Ake, Rico; Danjuma, Lerma, Billing, Fraser; Solanke, Wilson
Joel Matip and Fabinho remain the only injury-enforced absentees for Liverpool ahead of their trip to the south coast. Jurgen Klopp is, in fact, set to welcome a key player back into his side, with Alisson Becker available after serving out his suspension last time out.
With his team selection against Everton, the Liverpool manager illustrated that he is set to make heavy rotations in a busy December to keep his charges fresh. With that in mind, Dejan Lovren could be due a rest, with Joe Gomez replacing him as Virgil van Dijk’s central defensive partner.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson, though, could keep hold of their places, with Alisson returning between the sticks, replacing his deputy Adrian. The midfield should see a fresh look, with James Milner, Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum all dropping to the bench.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson ought to be the deepest of the three midfielders again, with Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain providing the forward thrust from the middle of the park. Up ahead in attack, Mohamed Salah is a certain starter after playing no part against Everton.
Roberto Firmino ought to start as well, having only been a second half substitute in the derby, but Sadio Mane will likely be rested after playing four games in a 12-day period. In his place, Divock Origi ought to start on the left side of the Liverpool attack against Bournemouth, drawing a lot of confidence from his brace against Everton.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Origi
- Bournemouth have won only one of their 15 matches against Liverpool in all competitions (D3 L11). The Reds have prevailed in the last four meetings, scoring 14 goals without reply.
- Liverpool have won their last four Premier League games against Bournemouth, by a margin of 3+ goals each time. They have never won five consecutive top-flight games against an opponent by such a margin before.
- Bournemouth have lost each of their last four Premier League games, all of them by a 1-goal margin. The Cherries last lost five consecutive league games back in March 2013 as a League One side, never embarking on such a run in the Premier League.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in 32 Premier League games (W27 D5), their longest run without defeat in the top-flight.
- Mohamed Salah has scored in all four of his Premier League games against Bournemouth (six goals in total), the only side he’s got a 100 per cent record against in the competition.
Player to Watch
Biding his time has been the prerequisite for Divock Origi as a Liverpool player. However, the Belgian has almost always delivered when given an opportunity in 2019, producing some epic performances in big games.
Coming into the Bournemouth match on the back of a stunning display against Everton, Origi is likely to be riding a wave of confidence. He will now have a chance to improve his impressive record this year and in doing so, he could pave the way for regular inclusion in a busy December.
Bournemouth 1-3 Liverpool
Liverpool are simply unstoppable at the moment. Their defence might not be as solid as Jurgen Klopp desires, but the Reds have too much quality in the final third to even be the victim of a shock result as the present moment. With Bournemouth in a rut, there is only one way this game will go.
Expect another largely comfortable afternoon for the Premier League leaders, who should extend their club-record unbeaten run in the division. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-1 win for Liverpool, with Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi making an impression.