Bournemouth vs Liverpool Preview: Unbeaten Reds look to go top with win against Cherries
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Bournemouth vs Liverpool Preview: Unbeaten Reds look to go top with win against Cherries

Liverpool have made their best ever start to a domestic season and will look to go top of the Premier League with a win against a high-flying Bournemouth side.

joshuakerr97
Joshua Kerr

Unbeaten Liverpool travel to Eddie Howe's high-flying Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday's early lunchtime kickoff knowing that a win will send them to the summit of the Premier League table.

The Reds have made their best ever start to a domestic season - registering 39 points from a possible 45 - and will go temporarily top with a win in the south coast. 

League leaders Manchester City face a daunting trip to Stamford Trip knowing anything but three points could allow Jürgen Klopp's side to close the deficit at the top.

Meanwhile, the Cherries currently sit seventh in the standings, above Manchester United and level on points with Everton. Bournemouth will be full of confidence after beating Huddersfield in midweek, with the bang-in-form Callum Wilson taking his goal tally to eight for the season.

Klopp confirms Lovren and Clyne both absent 

Klopp revealed he has a plan to ensure that Trent Alexander-Arnold does not have to face the burden of playing every minute of every match while Joe Gomez spends six week on the sidelines recovering from the ankle injury he sustained at Burnley on Wednesday.

Gomez has been utilised in the full-back position to cover the youngster for right-back at PSG, Huddersfield and against Manchester City - but the injury he sustained at Turf Moor, plus Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne's unavailability, places extra pressure on the Liverpool local lad.

However, ahead of tomorrow's trip to Bournemouth Klopp said: "I have a plan. Unsurprisingly. We will see what we will do but we have other options of course.

"You know all of them. We have a lot of players who can play that position, especially the way we play now.

"You can go through the squad .... Milner, Fabinho, more, but I have nothing to say about that.

"Wait and you will see what options we have!"

The Reds German manager also confirmed Lovren and Clyne will both be missing again tomorrow for the trip to the South Coast.

Klopp added: "Dejan got a knock last week and got a concussion. Clyney is out for two weeks or so. Nothing serious, and Joe obviously."

Sadio Mane is also likely to miss the trip, but, should be fit again for the Champions League crunchtime decider against Napoli on Tuesday, while Andy Robertson and Gini Wijnaldum are both available having both missed the victory at Burnley.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rhian Brewster once again remain long-term absentees, but striker Dominic Solanke is close to a return.

"I think Dom is close," added Klopp. "I really hope he will be in team training again from Sunday on, but we will have to wait and see.

"Sadio is now out running around but it doesn't sound like he will be ready for tomorrow.

"Hopefully he can finish the programme today we did for him, and Gini is nothing. He did his own programme and he is fine.

"Andy Robertson didn't travel to Burnley but he is fine. He has played most of the games in a very intense position which is why we decided to give him ... a whole eight hours off"

"He was not in Burnley but he trained in the morning!"

Virgil van Dijk has been ever-present for Liverpool this campaign and is another who has played almost every minute of almost every match and Klopp added: "With Virgil's position it's not the same intensity but it's not cool of course.

"With Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez out we have to think about that when we can, but he is ready to go again and it's good."

Howe: Liverpool will not take Bournemouth 'lightly'

Howe says Liverpool will not take Bournemouth lightly, despite Klopp's side facing a must-win European match next week.

Victory against the Terriers on Tuesday saw the Cherries end a four-match losing run with and Howe believes the manner of Liverpool's comeback win at Burnley is a testament to how strongly Klopp has evolved the Reds in their ruthless recent league approach.

"I don't think I should disrespect Liverpool in that way," Howe said when questioned whether Liverpool might take one eye off the match.

"You look at the way they approached the Burnley game - yes they made changes - but they were very professional in the job that they did.

"I think they will look at our game as a very important one in their Premier League season. They are not going to take us lightly. We anticipate meeting a full strength Liverpool team."

Head-to-head

Bournemouth and Liverpool have met on 6 occasions in the Premier League.

Liverpool have won on four of those meetings, including two wins on the South Coast.

Bournemouth have only ever beaten the Reds once since being promoted to the top flight, a resounding 4-3 victory at home in the 2016-17 campaign.

Team News

Bournemouth's Lewis Cook faces up to nine months out after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament during Tuesday's 2-1 win over Huddersfield.

Dan Gosling also remains absent with a knee injury, while there are fitness concerns for Howe's side regarding several unnamed players.

Klopp made seven changes to Liverpool’s starting eleven for their win at Burnley during the week.

Gomez picked up a fractured ankle in midweek and could be out for up to six weeks. Oxlade-Chamberlain is out until May at least while  Clyne and Solanke are also both unavailable for selection due to injury.

Predicted Line-up

Bournemouth: Begovic, Francis, S Cook, Ake, Daniels, Brooks, L Cook, Lerma, Fraser, King, Wilson

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keita, Shaqiri, Firmino, Salah

 

 

 

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