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Liverpool v Bournemouth – Preview, Predictions, and Best Bets

iverpool host Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

Liverpool v Bournemouth

Liverpool host Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday afternoon. Jurgen Klopp’s side have missed out on several midfield transfer targets this week and will want to end a run of three straight draws in the league. The Cherries’ new coach Andoni Iraola will want to avoid the 9-0 humbling dealt out in this fixture a year ago. AFC Bournemouth have won three of their last five away matches and are playing with confidence.

Liverpool Form

Last season was a mixed bag for the Reds. A few things summed that up like following a 7-0 win over Man Utd by losing 1-0 at bottom-placed Bournemouth and then 4-1 at Man City. Klopp’s side followed that up with a great run and it looked like they may sneak into the top four at one stage. They beat Leeds 6-1 at Elland Road and then won the next five fixtures by one-goal margins with 17 goals in those fixtures (11 scored, six conceded).

A 3-0 win at Leicester saw a very strong performance. Unfortunately, Liverpool drew their final two matches once the top-four race had been settled. They drew 1-1 at home to Aston Villa and then 4-4 at relegated Southampton on the final day. This season began with a 1-1 draw at Chelsea. Liverpool had just 36% possession in the second half and allowed five ‘big chances’ in the match.

Liverpool Team News

Central midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic are out injured for this one. Alexis Mac Allister could anchor midfield again after the club missed out on the signing of Moises Caicedo this week. The question for Jurgen Klopp is whether to play Cody Gakpo in midfield again or bring Curtis Jones into the XI.

Gakpo could move up front with Diogo Jota dropped to the bench. Darwin Nunez is set to be used as a substitute once again. The Reds will continue to invert Trent Alexander-Arnold into midfield with a back three behind that when in possession.

Liverpool Motivation

After a tough off the pitch, the Reds will be keen to feed off the Anfield crowd and get a big win. They trashed Bournemouth last season and with some big attackers on the bench, Liverpool could drive home any lead in this one.

A draw would feel like a loss here and Liverpool will keep attacking as they’re not equipped to sit back and absorb pressure right now without a defensive midfielder.

Bournemouth Form

The Cherries pulled off the great escape last season. After 25 matches, they were bottom of the table and looked odds-on for relegation. A 1-0 home win against Liverpool kickstarted a fine run of results under Gary O’Neill. That run was part of six wins across nine fixtures as they jumped from 21 points to 39. Amongst those wins was a 3-2 success away at Tottenham.

The key wins came in rounds 33 and 34 as they beat relegation rivals. A 1-0 win at Southampton was followed by a 4-1 thrashing of Leeds to secure their top-flight status. Four losses with just one goal scored followed their confirmed survival and triggered the sacking of their coach. This term began with a 1-1 home draw with West Ham thanks to an 81st-minute equaliser.

Bournemouth Team News

Andoni Iraola is without seven players for this match. Marcus Tavernier and Dango Outtara’s injuries reduce options in attacking midfield areas. Lewis Cook is missing in midfield and so is new signing Alex Scott.

In defence, Lloyd Kelly is a major doubt but he could return to the bench. The side could continue in an attacking 4-2-3-1 with Philip Billing in a deeper role. New signing Justin Kluivert will again feature as a substitute as he settles into the club.

Bournemouth Motivation

Iraolo is expected to play an attacking, front-foot game this season. His side has 63% of the ball against West Ham and will try to keep possession, even at Anfield.

A draw would be a massive result. If trailing in the second half, don’t expect them to shut up shop and go into damage limitation mode.

Key Stats

Liverpool have drawn their last 3 Premier League matches

Liverpool’s last 42 home EPL matches have seen just 1 loss

LFC have won HT/FT in 6 of their last 7 home matches vs. Bournemouth (all competitions)

Bournemouth have lost 4 of their last 5 league matches (1 draw)

Bournemouth have lost 10 of their last 14 away matches (3 wins in their last 5)

Verdict

Liverpool have a great record against the Cherries and will want a big response to off-field setbacks this week. Their defence doesn’t look overly solid so the visitors could score. I am backing Liverpool to take the victory with both sides on target.

Best Bet: A Liverpool win and both to score at 2.40
Alternative Bet: Liverpool to win and Salah to score anytime at 2.05
Correct Score Tip: Liverpool 3-1 Bournemouth at 10.00

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James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter: https://twitter.com/footy_analysis

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