Venue – Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth
Referee – Chris Kavanagh
Date & Time – Saturday, December 7th @ 15:00
Current Odds – Bournemouth 6/1, Draw 15/4, Liverpool 4/9
Strap yourselves in for an insanely busy December for Liverpool. Even as fans, it seems there’s a lot to keep up with this month. Imagine how the players feel. A fantastic 5-2 trouncing of Everton on Wednesday has everyone buzzing. Time to keep the form going and not get complacent.
Bournemouth have just one win in 10 in all competitions, losing their last four Premier League matches. Eddie Howe’s side has slipped to 12th in the table as a result of this dip.
They will improve in the second half of the season and go on to achieve mid-table safety at least. Let’s hope they don’t have an upturn in form just yet.
43 points from a possible 45 in the Premier League. That’s 14 wins and 1 draw in Liverpool’s opening 15 games of the season. Phenomenal. The team has also now gone a club-record 32 top-flight games unbeaten. Jurgen Klopp has formed a team for the ages. Don’t doubt it. You’ll very rarely see this class of side again, anywhere.
Wednesday night’s win over Everton was with a much-changed starting lineup as The Reds face into a very demanding winter schedule. It worked and, importantly, it showed the strength-in-depth is actually there.
The next month will go a long way to deciding Liverpool’s season. Let’s start with another three points at Bournemouth on Saturday.
Bournemouth Team News
Eddie Howe will be without Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels, Lloyd Kelly, Andrew Surman, David Brooks, Junior Stanislas and Josh King, all through injury.
Harry Wilson will be ineligible for this game as Liverpool is his parent club.
Defender Adam Smith faces a late fitness test to see if he is available for selection.
Howe’s Bournemouth has lined up in 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1 and 4-5-1 formations in recent months. It will probably be a 4-5-1 they go with for Saturday’s game.
Liverpool will need to keep Ryan Fraser quiet while Callum Wilson will give Virgil van Dijk and co plenty to think about.
Liverpool Team News
Alisson returns for Liverpool after missing the 5-2 derby victory through suspension.
Joel Matip, Fabinho and Nathaniel Clyne are all injured for this clash. Fabinho and Clyne won’t be back until the new year. Matip should be back in the next few weeks.
Klopp needs to rotate his starting lineup throughout December due to the hectic schedule facing The Reds.
The back four should be the same as those who started against Everton. However, in midfield, it could be a different trio of Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi is my pick for the front three to start at Bournemouth.
Bournemouth XI (4-5-1) – Ramsdale; Smith, Mepham, Ake, Rico; Groeneveld, Cook, Lerma, Billing, Fraser; Wilson
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Origi
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool have won the last four meetings between the two sides with an aggregate score of 14-0 in those games. Mohamed Salah has bagged six goals in that time against Bournemouth.
The last two games at the Vitality Stadium were 4-0 wins for Liverpool. A Salah hat-trick and a Steve Cook own-goal did the damage on the south coast last season.
BOURNEMOUTH 1 – 3 LIVERPOOL
I think Jurgen Klopp’s midweek rotation against Everton will reap further rewards here. Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino will be chomping at the bit. A punt on Salah to score two or more goals OR Salah and Firmino both to score. I still can’t back The Reds to keep a clean sheet but they should win this game by two goals, at least.