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Monday, November 18
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Feb 9, 2019 at 3pm UK
Liverpool
3-0
Bournemouth
Mane (24'), Wijnaldum (34'), Salah (48')
FT(HT: 2-0)

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

:Headline: Preview: Liverpool vs. Bournemouth - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between faltering title hopefuls Liverpool and mid-table Bournemouth, including predictions and teams news.
By , Editor | 9mo

Liverpool will be looking to return to winning ways and regain top spot in the Premier League table on Saturday when they welcome Bournemouth to Anfield.

The title hopefuls have drawn back-to-back matches to surrender top spot, but host a Bournemouth side in inconsistent form.


Liverpool


All of the noise coming out of Anfield is insistent that Liverpool are not feeling the pressure of the title race, but recent results suggest otherwise.

The Reds were seven points clear at the top of the table not so long ago, but they will go into Saturday's match sitting in second place after Manchester City moved above them on goal difference with a midweek win over Everton.

A first top-flight title since 1990 remains in Liverpool's hands as they still have an extra game to play, but Jurgen Klopp will know that his side cannot afford many more slip-ups after back-to-back draws against Leicester City and West Ham United.

Liverpool had not dropped a single point to a team outside the 'big six' all season before those two games, and it is the performances as much as the results that will have worried the club's fans.

The Merseysiders looked supremely confident throughout the first half of the season, but since the turn of the year they have now lost against Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, scraped past Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace and drawn with Leicester and West Ham.

In truth, they were lucky to get away with a point from the latter; even ignoring the fact that Sadio Mane's goal should not have stood due to a clear offside in the build-up, West Ham created the better chances by far and could have quite easily won the game.

The dropped points against Leicester in their last home outing also raised causes for concern as their nine-game winning run at Anfield came to an end, although they are still unbeaten in their last 33 home league games stretching back to April 2017.

It was a 4-0 win over Bournemouth in December which began Liverpool's recent spell at the top of the standings and they only need a draw to return there this weekend, although in practice only a win will be enough for the title challenge, even if Man City do face a difficult test against Chelsea on Sunday.

The Reds would be forgiven for having one eye on that showdown at the Etihad Stadium and even further afield with matches against Bayern Munich and Manchester United to come next week, but for now their full focus must be on returning to the form which has taken them this far.

Bournemouth may be the perfect opponents against whom to do that considering their rotten away form, and near the top of the priority list will be keeping a clean sheet - Liverpool have managed just one in their last six league games after keeping 12 in their first 19.

Indeed, at home Klopp's side has conceded six times in their last five league games compared to just once in the previous 12, and if they are to get their title challenge back on track then restoring the faith in that defence may be the first port of call.

Some change certainly needs to happen sooner rather than later if Liverpool are to prevent the title slipping away from them, as they have dropped more points in their last five games than they had in their opening 20.

Recent Premier League form: WLWWDD
Recent form (all competitions): LLWWDD


Bournemouth


Eddie Howe must be wondering exactly what to make of his Bournemouth side at the moment.

The Cherries recorded one of the most memorable results in the club's history with a 4-0 drubbing of Chelsea recently, only to then follow that up with a 2-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Cardiff City.

Things must always be kept in perspective when it comes to Bournemouth, and in the grand scheme of their history sitting 10th in the Premier League table is a phenomenal achievement.

However, there is the very real possibility of being able to push for Europe this season despite slipping five points adrift of seventh-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers, and at the very least bettering the club's record-high finish of ninth in the top flight should be a target.

If they are to achieve that then they simply must improve their away form significantly; the Cherries have now lost their last eight games on the road across all competitions and have scored just one goal in their last six.

Seven of those defeats have come in the Premier League, where Bournemouth have not picked up an away point since October, and only four teams in the entire division have a worse record on their travels so far this term, while only Fulham have conceded more.

The prospect of that record improving any time soon looks bleak with their next two league away games coming at Anfield and the Emirates, particularly considering they have conceded 17 goals in their last five visits to top-six opposition, losing all five games.

Anything they can get from Anfield on Saturday would be an unexpected bonus, then, but they are coming up against a Liverpool side suffering something of a wobble recently and so should not be counted out entirely.

Recent Premier League form: LDLWWL
Recent form (all competitions): DLLWWL


Team News


Liverpool are hopeful of welcoming Trent Alexander-Arnold back into the side after almost a month out with a knee injury.

The right-back is expected to come straight back into the starting XI if he is deemed fit enough, with the likes of Jordan Henderson and James Milner having filled in there during his absence.

Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum remain doubtful for the hosts after missing the West Ham draw through muscular and knee injuries respectively, while Dejan Lovren's fitness is also an area of concern amid fears he has damaged his hamstring once again.

Joe Gomez's recovery has suffered a significant setback after he was forced to undergo surgery on his fractured lower leg, leaving Joel Matip as the most likely centre-back partner for Virgil van Dijk once again.

Naby Keita and Adam Lallana face battles to keep their places in the side, particularly if Klopp switches back to a 4-2-3-1 system which would see Mohamed Salah lead the line, having netted five times in three games against Bournemouth including a hat-trick in the reverse fixture.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, are still without Callum Wilson after he had an operation on his knee, while David Brooks is also sidelined with an ankle problem.

Howe's options will be further limited by Nathaniel Clyne - whose exit from Liverpool has been criticised due to the Reds' troubles at right-back - being unable to play against his parent club.

Dominic Solanke could feature against the team he left in January, though, while Joshua King is a man in form with three goals in his last three Premier League games.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Fabinho; Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane; Salah

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Boruc; Cook, Ake, Daniels; Stanislas, Gosling, Lerma, Surman, Fraser; King, Solanke


Head To Head

Liverpool have only ever lost one of their previous 14 meetings with Bournemouth across all competitions, with that coming in the memorable 4-3 at the Vitality Stadium in December 2016.

Ten of the past 14 games have resulted in Liverpool wins, including each of the last three during which time the Reds have scored 11 goals without reply - most recently a 4-0 triumph in December.

Bournemouth have made six previous visits to Anfield but have only come away with a draw once, losing the five other games.



We say: Liverpool 3-1 Bournemouth

Liverpool's defence no longer looks impenetrable at Anfield and Bournemouth have the ability to get a goal this weekend. However, the hosts should still have enough to come away with all three points, particularly considering the Cherries' dismal recent form on the road.


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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool12111028101834
2Leicester CityLeicester128222982126
3Chelsea1282227171026
4Manchester CityMan City1281335132225
5Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd12453139417
6Arsenal124531617-117
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd124441612416
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves123721615116
9Bournemouth124441515016
10Burnley124351718-115
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124351517-215
12Crystal Palace124351016-615
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle124351118-715
14Tottenham HotspurSpurs123541817114
15Everton124261318-514
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham123451420-613
17Aston Villa123271720-311
18Watford12156823-158
19Southampton122281129-188
20Norwich CityNorwich122191128-177
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool12111028101834
2Leicester CityLeicester128222982126
3Chelsea1282227171026
4Manchester CityMan City1281335132225
5Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd12453139417
6Arsenal124531617-117
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd124441612416
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves123721615116
9Bournemouth124441515016
10Burnley124351718-115
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124351517-215
12Crystal Palace124351016-615
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle124351118-715
14Tottenham HotspurSpurs123541817114
15Everton124261318-514
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham123451420-613
17Aston Villa123271720-311
18Watford12156823-158
19Southampton122281129-188
20Norwich CityNorwich122191128-177
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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