Liverpool take on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in the last stop before the season heads into crunch time.
Bournemouth are no walk in the park, but they’re considerably less daunting than the prospect of facing Napoli in a must-win Champions League tie, as well as Manchester United in the same week.
Nevertheless, Eddie Howe’s men can’t be underestimated as they’re fully deserving of 7th place in the League so far, and are fairly applauded by many fans, pundits, and commentators for their impressive style of play and ability to give the big teams a run for their money.
Bournemouth Predicted Lineup and Team News
In a disaster for Bournemouth’s season, and potentially England’s future centre-midfield, Lewis Cook Lewis Cook has been ruled out for six to nine months with a ruptured ACL. Even though I’m a Liverpool fan, I’d like to wish Lewis a swift recovery.
Another midfielder, Dan Gosling, is also unavailable this weekend due to a knee problem, so the central midfield pairing of Andrew Surman and Jefferson Lerma picks itself.
Junior Stanislas is an alternative to David Brooks on the right flank if Howe decides to rotate, though the form of Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser will surely see those two players line up for their third league match in eight days. However, Brooks is an outstanding player, so Howe may opt to play both him and Stanislas. Joshua King is also likely to feature, at least off the bench.
Liverpool Predicted Lineup and Team News
Robertson and Wijnaldum are fit to feature after missing out in midweek, but Mane is unlikely to be ready to play after the Senegalese midfielder only started running on Friday.
Gomez, Lovren, and Clyne have also been ruled out, so Liverpool’s back four almost picks itself given that Robertson will surely oust Alberto Moreno at left-back for the trip to the Vitality Stadium.
Mane’s probable absence may mean that Klopp persists with a 4-3-3, with Roberto Firmino perhaps moving over to the left flank to fill in for the crocked winger. Fabinho and Wijnaldum may return to the team at the expense of Henderson and Milner, who both played 90 minutes on Wednesday, though Keita excelled at Turf Moor and could retain his start.
Eddie Howe has favoured a three-man backline in away matches against “big six” sides this season but at the Vitality Stadium the Bournemouth boss has stuck with a 4-4-2 in fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester United, so we may see that second system used again for the visit of Liverpool.
David Brooks could also miss out (as he did against Manchester City) if Howe switches to a 3-4-3, with Tyrone Mings the likeliest candidate to play alongside Steve Cook and Nathan Ake at centre-back.
Liverpool could utilise either a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 in this game, but much will depend on who Klopp wishes to rest.
Similar to last week, it’s difficult to make a prediction for the game when Klopp’s selections are so unclear. In any case, Liverpool should fancy themselves.
Bournemouth will put up a strong fight and won’t make life easy for the Reds, but given that a certain contingent of Liverpool’s players have started to spark into life recently, we should have enough for the win.
Liverpool will go top of the League, at least temporarily, with a resounding 3-1 victory.
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