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Premier League | Gameweek 21
Jan 21, 2024 at 4.30pm UK
Vitality Stadium

0 - 4

Cook (59')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Nunez (49', 90+3'), Jota (70', 79')
Bradley (66'), Nunez (90+7')

Preview: Bournemouth vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Bournemouth vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Bournemouth and Liverpool, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

With the chance to move five points clear at the top of the Premier League table, Liverpool travel south to square off with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Both sides have spent a fortnight recuperating from recent FA Cup successes, as the Reds overcame Arsenal 2-0 in the third round, while the Cherries produced a stellar fightback to sink Queens Park Rangers 3-2.

Match preview

As the temperatures plummeted heading into the festive period, Bournemouth turned up the heat under Andoni Iraola to leave their former relegation rivals in their wake, taking 19 points from 21 on offer during a magnificent seven-game streak before being thwarted on Tottenham Hotspur's turf.

That 3-1 loss to the Lilywhites on New Year's Eve also snapped the Cherries streak of scoring at least twice in seven successive matches - an exceptional return helped in no small part by the exploits of erstwhile Liverpool man Dominic Solanke - but Bournemouth found their best shooting boots again at Loftus Road on January 6.

The QPR faithful were in dreamland as they departed for half-time refreshments, having witnessed Sinclair Armstrong and Lyndon Dykes strike in the dying embers of the first period, but Iraola's team talk worked wonders as Marcus Tavernier, Kieffer Moore and Justin Kluivert completed a terrific turnaround.

Before a fourth-round clash with Swansea City takes precedence later this month, Bournemouth bid to avoid back-to-back Premier League losses for the first time since October and welcome the Reds to the Vitality in 12th place in the standings, three points below Wolverhampton Wanderers with a game in hand.

As inspiring as their recent renaissance has been, Bournemouth are traditionally one of the kindest teams for league leaders to face; the Cherries have been beaten in all nine of their Premier League games against teams starting the day at the top of the table, netting a mere six goals in that dismal sequence.

Bournemouth may very well have taken a leaf out of Liverpool's comeback book during their visit to QPR, and while the Reds did not need to harness their fightback powers against a wasteful Arsenal in the FA Cup, Jurgen Klopp's men did it the hard way once again when Fulham arrived for their EFL Cup semi-final first leg.

An uncharacteristic Virgil van Dijk error was the catalyst for Willian's opening goal at Anfield, but the introductions of Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo turned the tide in the Reds' favour, as the former set up the latter for the winning goal after also notching the assist for Curtis Jones's deflected equaliser.

Revelling in back-to-back knockout successes, Liverpool - whose second leg with Fulham comes three days after their trip to the Vitality - end a 20-day Premier League hiatus this weekend, having not put any more points on the board since their absorbing 4-2 beating of Newcastle United on New Year's Day.

With neither Aston Villa nor Manchester City in action this weekend, victory for Klopp's crop would see them temporarily steer five points clear at the summit of the rankings, and their winning streak in all competitions stands at four matches since their 1-1 draw with Arsenal on December 23, now a rather unjust result after Howard Webb conceded that the Reds should have been awarded a penalty on the day.

Each of the Reds' last three Premier League away games have also seen the Merseyside giants emerge victorious, and they have already avenged last year's 1-0 loss in this fixture, following up a 3-1 Anfield win in August with a 2-1 EFL Cup success on the South Coast just last month.

Bournemouth Premier League form:

Bournemouth form (all competitions):

Liverpool Premier League form:

Liverpool form (all competitions):

Team News

During Bournemouth's loss to Spurs on New Year's Eve, centre-back Marcos Senesi was cautioned for the fifth time in the 2023-24 Premier League, thus ruling him out of the visit of Liverpool through suspension; Chris Mepham ought to step in.

Fellow defender Lloyd Kelly - apparently a transfer target for Liverpool - could be back from a thigh problem, but Tyler Adams remains out with a similar issue, while Adam Smith (muscle), Milos Kerkez (foot), Ryan Fredericks (calf), Darren Randolph (illness), Dango Ouattara (international) and Antoine Semenyo (international) will not face the Reds either.

Ex-Reds man Solanke is expected to recover from the affliction which kept him out of the FA Cup, but Joe Rothwell and Hamed Traore have departed on loan for Southampton and Napoli respectively.

While Bournemouth may be boosted by the return of a left-back, Liverpool remain without their two senior options on that side in Andrew Robertson (shoulder) and Kostas Tsimikas (collarbone), while Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss a few weeks with the knee issue he picked up against Arsenal in the FA Cup.

Stefan Bajcetic (calf), Ben Doak (knee), Thiago Alcantara (hip) and Joel Matip (knee) are also in the care of the physios, and the visitors are also making do without Japan's Wataru Endo and Egypt's Mohamed Salah, who suffered a worrying injury scare during Thursday's Africa Cup of Nations clash with Ghana.

Klopp is also not optimistic about having Dominik Szoboszlai (thigh) back for Sunday's game, where Conor Bradley is set to make his full Premier League debut at right-back.

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Neto; Aarons, Zabarnyi, Mepham, Kerkez; Christie, Cook; Tavernier, Billing, Kluivert; Solanke

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Jones, Mac Allister, Gravenberch; Jota, Nunez, Diaz

We say: Bournemouth 1-2 Liverpool

Bournemouth's horrendous record against Premier League table-toppers makes for extremely grim reading indeed, but Iraola's goal-happy side ought not to be blown to smithereens by an absentee-hit Liverpool, who are particularly vulnerable in the wide areas right now.

However, Klopp's side have been the masters of overcoming adversity this season, and with Bournemouth still looking a little shaky at the back, we have faith in Liverpool to travel back to Merseyside with a fifth successive win and a five-point lead at the top.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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Premier League Table
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
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11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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