LIVERPOOL VS BOURNEMOUTH: PREVIEW
Liverpool return to action tomorrow when they host Bournemouth at Anfield for a 3pm (BST) kickoff. The Reds have suffered their worst start to a season in a decade and are in dire need of a morale boosting victory. Here’s a preview of the game.
It’s been the slowest of starts for Jürgen Klopp’s side. An impressive Community Shield display wasn’t a sign of things to come, as they slumped to draws against Fulham and Palace before a disappointing defeat at Old Trafford.
Two points from nine is a poor start that needs to be arrested swiftly. Having already dropped points to one promoted side, the Reds simply cannot afford to do so again here. It’s a five point gap to City (and 7 to Arsenal) at this early stage of the season.
It’s not time to panic just yet, but Liverpool have to get back to a version of their best selves tomorrow. Fans at Anfield will play their part as always, and it will be down to the team to get the performance level right, as well as the needed result.
They’ve been way too easy to play against recently, looking blunt going forward and very vulnerable to the counter. It was poignant that the manager mentioned in his presser a need to return to being the team nobody wants to play against.
The injury crisis continues unabated, with Naby Keita ruled out with yet another muscle injury. The Guinean has never managed to start even half of the Reds’ league fixtures over the course of a single season, with this being his fifth season at the club.
The Cherries themselves are dealing with injury issues of their own. They started the season with an impressive 2-0 victory over Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa, before succumbing to two heavy defeats against City and Arsenal (4-0 and 3-0 respectively).
Scott Parker’s outfit will be hoping to steer clear of a relegation battle this term having secured promotion in impressive fashion last season. To do so, they must pick up points against the teams around them on the table.
Although they’re just a point behind the Reds, they know tomorrow is a free hit. They’ll set up in a rigid 5-3-2 and seek to frustrate. If Solanke is fit enough to start, he’ll offer a potent threat on the counter. All the pressure will be on Liverpool to break down their rearguard.
Jürgen Klopp has an impressive record against Bournemouth. In ten meetings, he’s overseen eight wins and a draw (winning each of the last six). The sole defeat in that run was a topsy turvy 4-3 loss at the Vitality stadium in 2016.
It will be attack vs defence at Anfield tomorrow. The manager’s lineup will be interesting in that regard. There was a lot made of the performance of the midfield last time out.
Naby Keita joins Kelleher, Ramsay, Matip, Konaté, Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones and Jota on the treatment table, whilst Darwin Nunez continues to serve his three game ban.
Klopp on injuries: “Thiago is not far away. Diogo is getting closer. Kelleher will be back in training next week. Joel [Matip] and Curtis [Jones] are not too far away.”
For Bournemouth, Dominic Solanke will train on Friday and “could be an option” according to Scott Parker. Joe Rothwell, Ryan Fredericks, Junior Stanislas and David Brooks remain sidelined for the trip, while Jamal Lowe is back in training after illness.
The youngster caught the eye in his brief cameo on Monday night with his direct running from midfield. He’s pushing for a first start, be that as part of a midfield three or behind Salah in a 4-2-3-1 setup.
The 24 year old spearheaded the promotion charge last term, netting 30 goals and laying on 7 assists in 48 appearances. He returned to training today after a fortnight out with an ankle injury. He will look to impress against his former side if he’s fit enough to feature.
The 19 year old has created more chances in the Premier League (5) than any other Liverpool midfielder, with only Mo Salah (13) and Alexander-Arnold (8) creating more in the Liverpool squad. That level of creativity will be required tomorrow.
4 thoughts on “LIVERPOOL VS BOURNEMOUTH: PREVIEW”
Tomorrow’s game would be a tricky one seeing that the squad isn’t back to it’s full Strength just yet.
I would love to see Carvalho start tomorrow, preferably in the midfield role on a 4-2-3-1 formation with Elliot and Diaz running the wing and Salah up front. Let’s see how the gaffer would line up tomorrow
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I must say I very much like the idea of the 4-2-3-1. We looked really good with that setup a couple of years ago with Salah leading the line and Shaqiri playing off the right.
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Yeah, hopefully we get to see changes today
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