Liverpool head to the south coast this weekend, for Sunday’s Premier League fixture with Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. Liverpool will be wanting to return to winning ways after two consecutive draws against Everton and West Brom alike.
It was a dull, disappointing draw with West Brom on Wednesday night for the Reds as West Brom went back to the West Midlands with what they wanted; a point at Anfield. Dominic Solanke had his goal disallowed as the ball struck his arm after a deflection off Ahmed Hegazi. This proved costly for LFC as, despite having most of the ball, we were unable to create many chances and break down a very dogged West Brom defence. Bournemouth also dropped points in mid-week; they were defeated 1-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford as Romelu Lukaku broke his goal drought.
Ahead of Matchday 18, the Cherries are currently sat in 14th in the Premier league on 16 points after 4 wins, 4 draws and 9 defeats so far in the league this season. Bournemouth’s form proves inconsistent as since their 4-0 win at Home to Huddersfield, they have drawn against Swansea, Southampton and Crystal Palace and lost to Manchester United and Burnley.
For the Reds, these are the sort of games we must win if we want to finish in the top 4 again this season. With Arsenal next week and two consecutive draws last week, it makes this game even more important. Jurgen Klopp said in his press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game: “9 days ago we were flying, now I look in your eyes and I see we have big problems. We will try again.”
LFC can go back into the top 4 with a win tomorrow after Tottenham dropped points at the Etihad against a Manchester City side who have only not won on one occasion in the league this season.
Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Simon Mignolet will return to the side after being rested on Wednesday night. Joel Matip is starting to return to fitness, however, remains unavailable for tomorrow along with Clyne whose long term back injury continues. Daniel Sturridge missed the games against Everton and West Brom through injury and faces a late fitness test to see whether he will be available for selection tomorrow. There is a boost for us Reds, however, as Klopp indicated Lallana will be in the squad tomorrow for just the second time this season. Salah and Mane may be rested as Klopp stated in mid-week. “All of the players, even the players I rotate, have two games a week. We make sure they don’t have to play three games a week,” ahead of another busy week next week.
LAST SEASON’S MEETING
Last season’s fixtures against Bournemouth didn’t go to plan for Klopp’s Reds. Our last visit to the Vitality came in the league last season where despite leading 3-1 with 15 minutes to go, the game ended in a 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth. Mane and Origi scored in the first half as 2 goals in 2 minutes saw LFC race into a 2-0 lead going into half-time. Bournemouth were awarded a penalty in the second half which Callum Wilson converted to put Bournemouth back in the game but when Emre Can made it 3-1 8 minutes later, it looked like the game was out of sight for The Cherries. In the 76th minute, Ryan Fraser struck to make it 3-2 and Steve Cook equalised 2 minutes later. A 90th minute finish from Nathan Ake who was on loan from Chelsea, saw Bournemouth get the 3 points on a disappointing and strange day at the Vitality Stadium.
NEW: Video: Jürgen Klopp's pre-Bournemouth press conference.https://t.co/4VH4alVZM9
— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) December 15, 2017
Tomorrow’s match is to be refereed by Andre Mariner and is the 12th fixture between the 2 sides with Liverpool winning 7, drawing 3 and losing 1 in our previous meetings with the Southerners. LFC will be hoping that tomorrow’s performance is better than Wednesday night and not a repeat of last season’s fixture in what is a must win game for Klopp’s side.