Liverpool v Bournemouth – PL Preview
With a single point taken from Liverpool’s opening weekend trip to Stamford Bridge, it hopefully saw an unsavoury chapter close out (for now), one which saw the imminent destinies of the two sides intertwined with one another.
The Reds’ Recruitment Saga
The Reds’ recruitment team can now progress on with other summer business, however, due to the mass spending our West London adversaries, we shall be unable to field any new reinforcements, just yet anyway.
Bournemouth visit Anfield after their opening day 1-1 draw at home to West Ham. After an inconsistent 2022/23 Premier League season, a busy summer of change sees the south coast outfit looking to make stridLiverpool, Bournemouth, Premier League, Dominik Szoboszlai, Jürgen Klopp, Stamford Bridge, Anfield, Transfer Rumors, Match Preview, EPLes within the English top tier. Their impressive transfer window was not at all limited to the playing staff, as Andoni Iraola displaced the unfortunate Gary O’Neil in mid-June. A new mindset and desire to take forward steps is clearly on the agenda for the Cherries, after their impressive (and eventual) 15th placed finish last season.
On the visitor’s injury front, Alex Scott, Marcus Tavernier, Ryan Fredericks, Dango Outtara, and Lewis Cook, are all ruled out for this game, whereas Adam Smith and Lloyd Kelly face late fitness tests. Based upon those players available and the positive draw attained at the Vitality Stadium last week, I imagine the new manager will be rolling out the same starting eleven (as against the Hammers), as shown in the link below.
Bournemouth's summer signings:
◉ Ionut Radu (loan)
◉ Justin Kluivert (£9.6m)
◉ Romain Faivre (£12.8m)
◉ Milos Kerkez (£15.5m)
◉ Hamed Traorè (£20m)
◉ Alex Scott (£20m)
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The Liverpool Availability
Liverpool come into this game desperate to record a solid three-point victory, after their entertaining 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge last weekend. The Cheick Doucouré rumours have now hit overdrive (as I write out this preview) on a Wednesday evening. For any incoming player to be available for Saturday 3pm kick off, they would need to be registered by midday on Friday. The last working day before any fixture is representative of the cut off point for all new Premier League registrations (and alterations), therefore LFC may be able to celebrate a weekend (and wondrous) occasion where Chelsea do not take that which we desire. Thiago Alcântara and Stefan Bajčetić are back in team training, with the more senior Spaniard pictured on Wednesday with the rest of the senior group. This improved scenario (and the possibility of Crystal Palace’s enforcer incoming) means that Curtis Jones should be starting this game, with either Diogo Jota or Cody Gakpo coming out of the side. As players return, our German manager will able to facilitate a genuine midfielder onto the bench (apart from Harvey Elliott), which m will likely see a return for Jones in either the holding or left of a midfield three. It will be vital that systems and personnel are not tinkered with too much, as control was desperately lacking against the Blues.
Potential Lineup Changes
As shown in the link above, Darwin Núñez may well be viable alternative to either Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota at centre forward. The continued lack of a left sided defender means Andy Robertson will continue in the side, whereas Trent will no doubt be pushing to step into midfield at a more frequent pace this week. The rest of the team should be that which started last Sunday, despite a rather underwhelming display by the 19-time English league champions. A more structured approach will no doubt be incorporated this Saturday, as possession will likely favour the home side and create more opportunities for new patterns of play.
How Will This Contest Play Out
Bournemouth look rejuvenated since the Reds beat them 9-0 in this fixture last August. A solid undertaking in the transfer window and a desire to improve their standing in the English Premier League, means this fixture is far from straight forward for the home side. Jürgen Klopp will need to find some degree of balance, as his team’s tendency to give up big chances looks set to continue. The attacking make-up and ingredients of the forward-thinking players should still see a comfortable home win, if the inevitable counter attacks are contained. In addition to the strategic game-plan, there must be a desire to compete against a smaller side, which sometimes became an issue last season. The visitors will be looking to release former red, Dominic Solanke, at every opportunity, which could make for a good battle between himself and the Liverpool defenders. I expect Trent to bounce back from his difficult match against Chelsea, enabling more on ball influence on the match. Last week we saw flashes of what may come in time, which is why I am most excited to see what Dominik Szoboszlai can offer on his home debut. The Hungarians captains first game saw him holding back a little, which is something I do not expect to continue for too long.
Player to watch – Dominik Szoboszlai
Score Prediction: Liverpool 3 – 1 Bournemouth