Liverpool travel to the south coast to face an out-of-form Bournemouth side as they look to extend their excellent start to the season with victory over the Cherries.
A much-changed Liverpool side ensured Merseyside stayed red for the time being as they ran out 5-2 winners over their struggling city rivals.
Bournemouth’s form over the last couple of months should be concerning. One win in 10 games means they now sit just two points above the relegation zone after a promising start to the season.
Bournemouth have lost their last four games, with their most recent loss against Crystal Palace summing up their last two months. Despite their opponents being reduced to 10 men in the 20th minute, they failed to create any real opportunity to score.
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Crystal Palace did what Bournemouth failed to do — find the back of the net. Jeffrey Schlupp scored late on to secure an unlikely three points for the home side and sentence Bournemouth to their seventh loss of the season.
They lost the previous match 3-2 to Tottenham. The scoreline flattered Eddie Howe’s side with two late goals making the game look much tighter than it was. Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson scored both of the away side’s goals including a wonderful free-kick.
Two of Tottenham’s goals came from a pass from the centre back through the middle — Toby Alderweireld found Dele Alli on two separate occasions with the young English midfielder scoring both opportunities. A couple of Liverpool’s goals against Everton came from similar situations so it could be something that our centre-backs can take advantage of.
Jürgen Klopp often makes changes throughout the months of December and January, but not many expected him to make five when they faced Everton. Xherdan Shaqiri, Adam Lallana and Divock Origi all started and played their part as a Sadio Mané-inspired Liverpool ran out 5-2 winners.
Origi came back to haunt the side he scored against a year ago. Two expertly taken-goals sandwiched Shaqiri’s goal with Mané finishing off a counter-attack with a well-placed effort to put the Reds in a comfortable 4-2 lead.
Gini Wijnaldum rounded of the scoring as he scored Liverpool’s fifth late on to secure their 14th win in 15 games. The Reds’ build-up play for each of their five goals has not been talked about enough — each passage of play which lead to the goal was just as good as the last. Jordan Henderson almost got two brilliant assists to his name, but Mané fluffed his lines when it looked easier to score.
Liverpool defended quite well throughout, but two loose balls from midfield resulted in Everton finding the back of the net as they failed to keep a clean sheet for the 13th-straight game, but in the end the Reds ran out comfortable winners.
Harry Wilson misses out for the hosts due to him being ineligible under the terms of his loan agreement. David Brooks, Junior Stanislas and Charlie Daniels are also unavailable due to long-term injuries, while the likes of Steve Cook, Adam Smith and Josh King are also out.
Bournemouth would probably revert to a 4-5-1 after fielding two strikers at Selhurst Park, but their ongoing injury crisis may prevent them from doing that.
Ryan Fraser, who has been linked to Liverpool in recent weeks, will replace Harry Wilson. He and Arnaut Groeneveld could flank Jefferson Lerma and Philip Billing in midfield.
Callum Wilson will start up front, likely joined by ex-Red Dominic Solanke. His pace may cause a problem for Dejan Lovren who has been caught out twice in the last two games.
Klopp will probably make a handful of changes again, looking to keep legs fresh as Liverpool look to maintain their eight-point lead at the top of the table.
Alisson Becker will return after his suspension, but the Brazilian will likely be the only change in defence.
Naby Keïta, Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could all come in to midfield as the manager continues his rotation policy.
Divock Origi might well keep his place after a two-goal haul against Everton, while Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino could come back in after being rested against the Toffees.
Sadio Mané could be given a well-earned rest from the start, but must be ready on the bench if needed. Xherdan Shaqiri started for the first time in seven months, so probably isn’t ready for two games in three days.
The Vitality Stadium has proved to be a happy hunting ground in recent years for Liverpool — Klopp has won three of his four games there. They have lost by a 4-0 scoreline on the last two occasions and I expect Liverpool to win by a similar amount on Sunday.
Keïta will be given a chance to prove himself. The Guinean currently finds himself down the pecking order in midfield and has failed to get any meaningful game time this season. Last season he put in two excellent performances against the Cherries so it would be great if he could show what he can do again here.
Liverpool should win this game quite comfortably, even despite resting some key players. Getting a strong lead early is vital as the Reds have a must-win game against FC Salzburg on Tuesday.
Predicted final score: AFC Bournemouth 0-3 Liverpool