Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Paul Tierney
Date & Time – Saturday, March 7th @ 12:30
Current Odds – Liverpool 2/9, Draw 11/2, Bournemouth 12/1
Saturday’s game is hugely important to the remainder of Liverpool’s season. It’s the chance to ‘stop the rot’ after two c0nsecutive defeats while also moving within 9 points of Premier League glory. Also, it’s the last opportunity for Jurgen Klopp’s side to click back into gear ahead of the visit of Atlético Madrid on Wednesday.
Liverpool lost in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Tuesday night, going out of the tournament after a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea. On the Saturday before it, The Reds suffered their first league defeat in over a year, being well beaten at Nigel Pearson’s Watford.
It’s two consecutive defeats and three in the last four for Liverpool. While the Premier League title is still potentially just a few games away, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds need to turn things around this week to continue the defence of their Champions League crown.
Bournemouth have won just one of their last five – three in their last ten – in all competitions. The Cherries’ last away win was at Chelsea in mid-December.
Eddie Howe’s team is currently 18th in the league and faces a battle to get out of the relegation zone between now and May.
Liverpool Team News
Jordan Henderson, Xherdan Shaqiri and Nathaniel Clyne are all out due to injury. Henderson is fighting to be fit for Liverpool’s titanic Champions League clash with Atlético Madrid next Wednesday night.
Naby Keita missed the FA Cup clash at Chelsea with a hip injury. He will face a late fitness test ahead of the Bournemouth game on Saturday.
Joe Gomez should be back in the starting eleven after missing the Watford defeat last Saturday through injury.
In midfield, with Henderson still out injured, the trio is likely to be Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The front three should be Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané. With the Atléti game in mind, at least two of them will be taken off before 70 minutes if the three points look to be won by that stage.
Bournemouth Team News
Eddie Howe has endured a tough time of it this season with squad injuries. This weekend, The Cherries are without Lloyd Kelly, Charlie Daniels, David Brooks, Chris Mepham and Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld.
Harry Wilson can’t play on Saturday as Liverpool is still his parent club.
Bournemouth have been lining out in a 4-3-3 formation in recent months and it’s likely to be the same again at Anfield.
A mobile and creative front three of Ryan Fraser, Callum Wilson and Josh King could give Virgil van Dijk and co plenty of headaches on Saturday.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Bournemouth XI (4-3-3) – Ramsdale; Stacey, Cook, Aké, Smith; Billing, Lerma, Cook; Fraser, Callum Wilson, King
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool have won the last five meetings between the sides with an aggregate score of 17-0 in those games. Mohamed Salah has scored 7 goals in those games including one hat-trick.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah were the scorers as Liverpool won 3-0 at Bournemouth back in December the last time the sides met.
Last season at Anfield, Liverpool won 3-0 with goals from Sadio Mané, Gini Wijnaldum and Mohamed Salah.
LIVERPOOL 3 – 0 BOURNEMOUTH
Anything less than a win on Saturday would be a huge disappointment for a Liverpool team looking to reach the Premier League finish line as soon as possible. My hope is that Anfield will be rocking on Saturday and Klopp’s men get off to the perfect start with an early goal. Do that and the three points should follow relatively comfortably.