By 90Min
April 13, 2018

Liverpool return to domestic action in Saturday's late kickoff, following their European heroics in midweek at the Etihad Stadium. 

Jurgen Klopp's men welcome a Bournemouth side who are unbeaten in their last three, with the Cherries now safe from the threat of relegation in 11th place.

The last time these two faced off, the Reds produced a dominant display at the Vitality Stadium which culminated in a convincing 4-0 win for the visitors back in December.


Classic Encounter

Bournemouth 4-3 Liverpool - December 2016

An all time Premier League classic entailed between these two during the opening half of the 2016/17 season. 

With Liverpool holding aspirations of a title challenge, the Reds raced into an early 2-0 lead thanks to a tidy Sadio Mané finish and an audacious Divock Origi strike.

Emre Can's curling effort appeared to quash any hopes of a Bournemouth fightback following Callum Wilson's early second half penalty, as Liverpool led 3-1 with 15 minutes remaining.

The Cherries refused to lay down, however. Ryan Fraser and Steve Cook both struck within two minutes of each other, paving the way for Nathan Aké to scramble home a stoppage time winner sending the home crowd into delirium and capping one of the league's greatest comebacks of recent times.


Key Battles

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain vs Lewis Cook

Stopping Liverpool's imperious forward line directly has proven to be a task far easier said than done this season, so Eddie Howe may need to search for alternatives. 

One such alternative will be to stop the supply lines from midfield, and in recent weeks Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been the Reds most potent supplier.

The job of subduing the Ox may well come down to his new international teammate Lewis Cook, with the fight to win the midfield battle likely to prove pivotal.

Nathaniel Clyne vs Jordon Ibe

Nathaniel Clyne has finally made his long awaited return to first team football having started last weekend's Merseyside derby. 

While the England full back produced a sound display at Goodison Park, an air of vulnerability always surrounds a returning player after such an extended period on the sidelines.

The Cherries may look to test Clyne's match sharpness through former Red Jordon Ibe. The winger missed the draw with Crystal Palace last time out due to illness but should he recover in time for the trip to Anfield, his pace could prove to be a key asset for Eddie Howe.


Team News

Liverpool's injury list will undoubtedly worry Jurgen Klopp heading into the end of season run-in. 

Four recognized first team players are currently nursing long term injuries (Joel Matip, Adam Lallana, Emre Can, Joe Gomez) meaning promising academy players Curtis Jones and Rafael Camacho have been called up to the senior squad in recent weeks.

The positive news for Liverpool surrounds the returns of both Clyne and Ben Woodburn to full fitness.

Bournemouth suffered a blow last week following news of Junior Stanislas's knee injury which the club have since confirmed will rule the winger out for the remainder of the season. 

Manager Eddie Howe will, however, be hopeful of calling upon Ibe to face his former club should he recover from illness in time.

Potential Liverpool Starting Lineup: Karius; Clyne, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mané, Ings, Firmino

Potential Bournemouth Starting Lineup: Begovic; Francis, S. Cook, Ake, Daniels; Fraser, L. Cook, Gosling, Ibe; Defore, Wilson


Prediction

With the Reds in buoyant mood following their progression to the Champions League semifinals this week, Bournemouth can expect a real uphill battle at Anfield.

Eddie Howe's commitment to playing attractive, attacking football has played into Liverpool's hands in the past as was evident when the two side's clashed earlier this campaign.

Bournemouth can, however, be hopeful of facing a Liverpool side that does not include talisman Mohamed Salah from the start, as Klopp will likely have one eye on keeping the Egyptian fully fit and fresh ahead of the upcoming Champions League showdown.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Bournemouth

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