After the nerve wrecking night at the Etihad, Liverpool make their way back home and back on league duty against Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side.
Back in the middle of December, Liverpool ran out comfortable 0-4 winners against the south coast club, although Jermaine Defoe should have made it interesting in the first half but fluffed his one-v-one with Mignolet.
The Cherries have scored in every of their last 14 games in the league, however just one win and four draws in their last seven fixtures. They sit comfortably in mid-table in 11th place on 38 points. With a good run and some luck they could end with back to back top 10 finishes which would be an excellent return for a club of Bournemouth’s stature.
They pulled off a fantastic 0-3 win at defending champions, Chelsea, earlier in the year showing that they have the ability to get a big result away from. You have to pitch up mentally against them, but if you do, you can run away from them. Only four teams have conceded more goals than them and the win at The Bridge was their only clean sheet since late November.
Tactically, Howe always gives his team a chance to score with a 4-4-1-1 formation. Pugh, Fraser, Stanislas or former Red, Jordan Ibe on the wings. Defoe, Wilson and King are the usual choices for the two positions up front. Quick, fast and dynamic movement provide a threat the Liverpool defense cannot underestimate.
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Liverpool come off the euphoria of being Champions League Semi-Finalist, but need to get their mindset right for the fixture. It was just over a year ago, that the Reds dropped points at home to Bournemouth in the race for their top four finish. Liverpool made it far too difficult for themselves with dropped points in games like this in the run in last season.
However, Liverpool are in really good form, winning tight games away from home and smashing teams at Anfield. The front three have been sensational, the midfield has stepped up in work rate and Virgil has transformed the defense from very average to good. We conceding less than a goal a game in the second half of the season.
The only real concern, is that injuries are piling up. Lallana, Can, Matip and Gomez leave little option for rotation in midfield and defense. We really cannot afford any more. In terms of the team for Saturday, expect Henderson to come into midfield this weekend and maybe Clyne and Moreno rotating at fullback. Expect the front three to wreak havoc once again.
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Klopp will get them in the right mindset for Saturday. Play our game and we should have too much for The Cherries.