Bournemouth v Liverpool – The Premier League Preview

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Overview of the Upcoming Match

For the 21st Premier League game of Liverpool’s season, the first-placed Reds have an opportunity to further extend their lead at the top of the table with a win this weekend. A trip to the south coast awaits the Anfield giants, as Manchester City do not play in their next league game until the 31st of January. Bournemouth will be the hosts of Jürgen Klopp’s side, as Andoni Iraola looks to continue his good run of form as the Cherries manager. On paper, many would have Liverpool as overwhelming favourites, however, the recent form of their adversary could make for a very interesting matchup.

Bournemouth Availability

Photo by IMAGO

Team and Player Status

On the injury front, Tyler Adams, Hamed Traore, Marcos Senesi Baron, Lloyd Kelly, Ryan Fredericks, Dango Ouattara, Antoine Semenyo, and Darren Randolph, are all out, whereas Milos Kerkez faces a late fitness test ahead of selection. Regarding recent form, the 12th placed team did lose their last league outing, as a trip to White Hart Lane ended in a 3-1 defeat. The four games before that loss all brought victories for Bournemouth, as a solid 3-0 win was recorded at home to Fulham after three straight away wins. The 2-3 win away to Nottingham Forest, was preceded by a tremendous 0-3 win against Manchester United, which came after a trip to Crystal Palace, one that saw the encounter end in a 0-2 win. After 19 games played, Andoni Iraola’s men have an impressive 25 points, a total that puts them a very healthy distance away from the relegation places. Their star player and most potent attacking weapon is the former red, Dominic Solanke, who has 13 goals in all competitions so far this season. Much attention has been surrounding the prolific marksman this January, yet a hefty price tag will surely ward off any mid-season suitors.

Predicted Bournemouth Starting Eleven

Below is my prediction on the starting eleven for the home side, in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The game plan will be to outwork their title-chasing opponents, to get back to winning ways. Dominic Solanke and Justin Kluivert will be the key attacking outlets, whilst Alex Scott will be one to watch in midfield.

GK – Neto

RB – Adam Smith

RCB – Illia Zabarnyi

LCB – Chris Mepham

LB – Dango Ouattara

CDM – Philip Billing

CM – Alex Scott

RM – Luis Sinisterra

LM – David Brooks

ACM – Justin Kluivert

CF – Dominic Solanke

Liverpool Availability

Team and Player Status

In terms of injuries, the unavailability of Thiago Alcântara continues for a few more weeks, whereas Kostas Tsimikas, Stefan Bajčetić, and Andy Robertson, are also out until early February. Joël Matip has sustained a season-ending ACL injury, one that may have seen him play his last game for the club. The vice-captain, Trent Alexander Arnold, sustained a knee injury in the FA Cup win over Arsenal, which will see him sidelined for up to a month. Both Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endō are still away on international duty, as participants of the AFCON and Asia Cup respectively. Dominik Szoboszlai may be ready for a return to the Reds bench, as he recovers from a hamstring complaint.

After 20 games played, Liverpool have amassed a brilliant 45-point total, which has them two points clear of City and Aston Villa, with Unai Emery’s side having played a game more.

Predicted Liverpool Starting Eleven

Below is my prediction on the starting eleven for the home side, where the hybrid initiative could potentially be enforced from the left-back position. Some solid rotation will be needed; however, the Reds manager may well roll the dice.

GK – Alisson Becker

RB – Conor Bradley

RCB – Ibrahima Konaté

LCB – Virgil van Dijk

LB – Joe Gomez

RCM – Cody Gakpo

CDM – Alexis Mac Allister

LCM – Curtis Jones

RW – Luis Díaz

CF – Diogo Jota

LW – Darwin Núñez

How Will This Contest Play Out

Match Analysis and Prediction

Every game week seems like the most critical in the Reds ambitious season, with this next period of matches again producing the same high levels of tension. The fixtures during and after New Year’s seem to have reinvigorated the monster mentality of old, therefore, increased confidence and the desire to maintain top-of-the-table status should see an away win for the Reds. A solid defence and frenetic attack must see Liverpool overpower their overachieving opponents, which could be decided upon who wins the midfield battle.

Player to watch – Diogo Jota
Score Prediction – Bournemouth 1 – 3 Liverpool

Steven Smith

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