BOURNEMOUTH VS LIVERPOOL: PREDICTED LINEUP
Liverpool travel to the Vitality Stadium tomorrow (12:30 GMT kickoff) to take on bottom of the table Bournemouth. Victory will see the Reds move into fourth place (for a few hours at least). Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.
The manager reported no new injuries in his pre-match press conference earlier today. He did however confirm that Joe Gomez and Luis Diaz should be back in team training next week, with the latter sorely missed over the past few months.
The Reds are coming off the back a momentous victory, pulverising bitter rivals Manchester United by seven goals to nil. With six days between that win and tomorrow’s fixture, it’s hard to see the manager making many changes.
In goal is certain to be Alisson. The Brazilian has kept five clean sheets in his last five matches (as many as he managed in the first 20 league games). He’s now climbed up to third in the Golden Glove race, with only Aaron Ramsdale (11) and Nick Pope (12) managing more than his tally of 11 clean sheets.
Ahead of him, we can expect to see Konaté and Van Dijk continue their partnership in the heart of defence. Alexander-Arnold and Robertson will then occupy the full back slots as usual. The settled back five has certainly aided the side’s refound defensive resilience.
In the middle of the park, the trio of Fabinho, Henderson and Elliott bossed Casemiro and co in the United midfield in a truly dominant display. As a trio, they extended their record when starting together to five wins from five, with the side scoring 28 times in those games and conceding just twice.
Stefan Bajcetic has been a revelation since breaking into the side at the turn of the year but it would be mighty harsh to drop Harvey Elliott after the work he’s put into the last two games. That being said, the physicality of Bajcetic could be required in what is sure to be a tough away encounter.
A slight dilemma perhaps, but one the manager will be grateful for. Not so long ago he didn’t even have enough options to rotate his side from game to game, with some players overused till the point of injury.
In attack, we are likely to see the front three of Salah – Gakpo – Nunez rolled out once again. The trio have been growing together over the past few weeks, with their interplay, linkup and understanding of each other’s movement improving by the game.
They were lethal last Sunday as they ripped the Manchester United defence to pieces, netting a brace each. They will face a different kind of task tomorrow, with the hosts sure to defend deep with a number of bodies, tasking Klopp’s new look attack to find a way past them.
The likes of Jota and Firmino could prove useful options off the bench in the second half, whilst the nous of James Milner could be required to see out any victory. Early kickoffs are the worst, but Liverpool have no excuse to not back up the 7-0 win last week to move into the top four.
Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Elliott, Henderson, Salah, Gakpo, Darwin.
Subs: Kelleher, Matip, Tsimikas, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bajcetic, Jota, Firmino, Carvalho.