Bournemouth - Liverpool Preview: Reds to ring changes off the back of famous European win

Jürgen Klopp will likely make a number of changes to his Liverpool team as they travel to Bournemouth just days after a famous comeback against Borussia Dortmund in the quarter finals of the Europa League at Anfield.

Bournemouth - Liverpool Preview: Reds to ring changes off the back of famous European win
(Picture: VAVEL UK)

Liverpool turn their attentions back to the Barclays Premier League as they travel to Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon just days after another miraculous European comeback.

The Reds came from 2-0 and 3-1 down to beat Europa League favourites Borussia Dortmund 4-3 on the night and progress 5-4 on aggregate on an unbelievable night under the Anfield floodlights on Thursday.

That sent them into the semi-finals of the competition and takes them just three games away from next season's Champions League, their most likely route of reaching Europe's top-table given that they are nine points away from fourth-placed Manchester City in the league, albeit with a game in hand.

With Bournemouth on 41 points with five games remaining, they are 14 points clear of the drop and look all but secured of top-flight football next term. They could close the gap to the Reds to just four points if they claim maximum points.

Whilst on the surface neither side has too much to play for, both will be keen on improving their positions in the table with Eddie Howe's side perhaps harbouring hopes of a top-half finish.

Klopp has faced Bournemouth once already this season, winning 1-0. (Picture: Getty Images)
Klopp has faced Bournemouth once already this season, winning 1-0. (Picture: Getty Images)

The Cherries have been through phases of form this season, at times suffering badly from injuries to key players, but have generally impressed in their first ever Premier League season and sit above the likes of Everton and Swansea City.

Meanwhile, since Jürgen Klopp enjoyed his first victory as Liverpool boss over Howe and co. in October in the League Cup, they have come on leaps and bounds - as evidenced by Thursday night's heroics over his former club Dortmund - but will be looking to consolidate that with a strong finish to the league season.

They have 21 points to play for, with a crucial game in hand to come next week in a Merseyside Derby against Everton, needing at least 14 to match last season's points total - which landed them in 6th under Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool have never finished lower than 8th in the Premier League era, their worst finish coming in 2011-12 when they managed just 52 points - four more than they currently have after 31 games - and though their focus is undoubtedly on the Europa League, Klopp will not underestimate the importance of maintaining momentum and confidence in the league.

With just one defeat in their last seven, it could be said that the German's charges are fully aware of that - but they'll want to acquire yet another three points this weekend, though they are expected to name a much-changed XI.

Team news:

Liverpool will be without midfielder Emre Can, who it is feared will miss the remainder of the season after rupturing ankle ligaments in their 4-3 win over Dortmund on Thursday night.

Can appeared to land awkwardly in the final stages of the Reds' win and joins fellow midfielder, and Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson in being sidelined for at least four to six weeks. 

Henderson is currently out with a lateral collateral ligament problem suffered in the first-leg against Dortmund last week and although the injury does not require surgery, he faces a battle to feature again this season.

That means James Milner, who has been involved in 14 league goals this season (scored five, assisted nine), is expected to start - with Joe Allen likely to partner him after not starting in midweek.

Emre Can will miss out through injury and could sit out for the rest of the season. (Picture: Getty Images)
Emre Can will miss out through injury and could sit out for the rest of the season. (Picture: Getty Images)

Kevin Stewart, who started in central midfield for last weekend's win over Stoke, could find himself with more frequent minutes - starting on the South Coast this season, whilst Klopp can also call upon Lucas Leiva after his return from a quad injury that ruled him out for almost two months. 

Christian Benteke's knee ligament injury means he is fighting to return before the end of the campaign, whilst young midfielder Jordan Rossiter's comeback date is as yet unknown having not featured since a goalless Europa League draw away at Sion back in December.

Elsewhere, full-backs Nathaniel Clyne and Alberto Moreno could be given a rest - with Daniel Sturridge almost certain to come into the starting eleven, potentially paired with Divock Origi upfront.

Striker Benik Afobe is a doubt for Bournemouth with a hamstring injury whilst Harry Arter could miss the European Championships this summer with an Achilles injury.

Junior Stanislas has returned from training and could make his comeback from a hamstring problem, but Adam Smith and Tyrone Mings remain sidelined with a hernia and knee injury.

Callum Wilson could make another appearance after marking his return from a six-month spell out with a serious knee injury with a 90-second cameo in the dying minutes of their win at down-and-out Aston Villa a week ago.


At the Vitality Stadium: Bournemouth - 0 wins, Draws - 2, Liverpool - 2 wins.

At Anfield: Liverpool - 4 wins, Draws - 0, Bournemouth  - 0 wins.

Overall: Bournemouth - 0 wins, Draws - 2, Liverpool - 6 wins.

Last meeting: Liverpool 1-0 Bournemouth, Capital One Cup fourth round, 28 October 2015.

Recent form:


Form in Premier League: WLLWW
Form in all competitions: WLLWW


Form in Premier League: WDLWW
Form in all competitions: WWDDL

Match facts:

Liverpool have lost none of the eight matches in all competitions they have played against AFC Bournemouth (W6 D2 L0), seven of which have come in domestic cup competitions.

Bournemouth have scored only four goals in eight meetings with Liverpool, never once managing more than a single goal against them.

The Reds have already beaten Bournemouth twice this season, winning 1-0 in the league and in the Capital One Cup, both at Anfield.

If Liverpool win at the Vitality Stadium, they will become the first team in the Barclays Premier League to win away at 50 different grounds.

Liverpool won after a European fixture for only the second time in eight attempts this season as they thrashed Stoke City 4-1 at home last weekend (W2, D4, L2).

Going into this round of fixtures, only the top three teams have better away records than Liverpool's tally of seven wins, three draws and six defeats.

Daniel Sturridge is in contention to start four successive league games in a single season for the first time in two years.

Bournemouth have lost four of their last seven most recent home fixtures and only three clubs have a worse home record prior to this weekend, with Bournemouth having suffered seven losses on home soil. Only Everton and Aston Villa have seen more goals conceded at their home ground.

Man in the middle:

Mike Jones takes charge of his 168th game on Sunday this weekend. (Picture: Getty Images)
Mike Jones takes charge of his 168th game on Sunday this weekend. (Picture: Getty Images)

Mike Jones is the nominated match official for the Reds' long journey down south. 

The 47-year-old, from Chester, will be taking charge of his 24th game of the campaign - having been in the middle for Liverpool's 3-3 draw with Arsenal and Bournemouth's away wins at Chelsea and Crystal Palace earlier this season.

Jones has dished out 533 yellow cards and 24 red cards across 167 top-flight matches since his first league game when Hull City took on Wigan Athletic in August 2008.