Liverpool vs Bournemouth: Liverpool will be looking to return to winning ways after an uncharacteristically poor spell of form when they welcome relegation-threatened Bournemouth to Anfield on Saturday lunchtime.
Jurgen Klopp‘s side have lost three of their last four games across all competitions but are firm favourites to get their campaign back on track against a Bournemouth side who sit inside the bottom three with 10 games of the season remaining.
After a season of winning week after week and breaking records left, right and centre, Liverpool have finally suffered a slump in form since returning from the winter break.
Debate as to whether Klopp’s side deserve to be regarded as among the best teams in English football history has been put on hold following a week in which they have seen their hopes of matching Arsenal’s Invincibles and Manchester United’s treble-winners ended.
The details of the match
Liverpool have been dealt a major blow with the news that Alisson Becker will miss both this game and the Champions League second leg against Atletico with a slight muscle strain he picked up in training this week.
Jordan Henderson‘s absence has also been keenly felt since limping off in the first leg of that tie, and while the skipper will again play not part this weekend, he could be in contention for the second leg.
There is better news regarding Naby Keita, though, with the Guinean returning to training on Thursday having missed the last two games.
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Bournemouth will be without Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson, who is ineligible to face his parent club, while Arnaut Groeneveld, Charlie Daniels, David Brooks, Chris Mepham and Lloyd Kelly all remain sidelined through injury.
Howe could name an unchanged team to the one which drew with Chelsea last weekend, which would mean former Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke has to make do with a place on the bench.
Ryan Fraser has, by his own admission, fallen short of his own high standards so far this season, but only Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold has provided more Premier League assists than him since the start of last season.
Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Stacey, S Cook, Ake, Smith; Billing, Lerma, L Cook; Fraser, C Wilson, King
Liverpool vs Bournemouth: prediction
We say: Liverpool 2-0 Bournemouth. On paper, this looks to be the ideal fixture for Liverpool to get themselves back on track. They have a formidable record against Bournemouth, have been almost unstoppable at Anfield this season and take on a Cherries side in poor form struggling against relegation.
Of course, last weekend’s Watford defeat proves that nothing can be taken for granted, but we cannot see anything other than a Liverpool return to winning ways on Saturday.