Liverpool v Bournemouth Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
February 05, 2019
Anfield - Premier League
The Premier League title race is well and truly back on as Liverpool host Bournemouth on Saturday looking to maintain their three-point lead. The Cherries have been inconsistent of late, handing Chelsea their worst defeat in the Abramovich era, then losing to Cardiff.
A Mohamed Salah hat-trick and Steve Cook own goal saw a heavy defeat for Bournemouth when the sides met at the Vitality Stadium earlier this season.
Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum are both likely to miss out, meaning Jurgen Klopp will be unable to rotate his midfield. The manager may be tempted to change formation in order to rest some players, switching to a 4-2-3-1 with Xherdan Shaqiri stepping onto the right flank.
Howe may be tempted to return to the same XI that beat Chelsea last week, although this will depend on the fitness of David Brooks who missed out at Cardiff. The Cherries are also without top scorer Callum Wilson who has undergone minor knee surgery.
Liverpool v Bournemouth Preview and Predictions
With two draws in their last two games, the pressure is suddenly very much on for Liverpool who will have their capitulation in the 2012/13 title rice playing on their minds. Jurgen Klopp however is an experienced manager and knows what it takes to get a team over the line, so will be doing all he can to prepare his team for Bournemouth's visit.
In any normal circumstances a defeat to Cardiff would have been disastrous for the Cherries, however the match was played out in a strange atmosphere following the tragedy at the Welsh club. Howe's side will likely be keen to return to the more conventional pressures of playing Liverpool this weekend, and may benefit from facing the Reds away.
At home, the south coast side were utterly outclassed by Klopp's team. However, as they showed against Chelsea, they are performing better when able to play on the counter, in contrast to the Cardiff game. Liverpool will unquestionably dominate possession meaning that the Cherries will be able to drop deep, hitting the home team fast and hard on the wings, much as West Ham did on Monday.
The Reds appear particularly vulnerable to this tactic at the moment, as it restricts the space for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to run into - although the two remain 6/10 and 23/20 to score respectively. With the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson both keen to join the attack, the flanks have looked comparatively exposed.
Having said this, the home side have a host of talent at their disposal, and will be able to cut off Bournemouth's attack routes if the midfield, and Fabinho in particular, fulfil their roles. All that remains to be seen is whether Liverpool are able to hold their nerve with the whole Premier League watching.
Roberto Firmino to score anytime at 5/4
The Brazilian hasn’t replicated his prolific form of last season, but will drop deep to create on Saturday.
Both teams to score at 19/20
Liverpool are likely to go all out attack to dispel fears this weekend, which should leave space for Bournemouth to exploit.