Only three games into the Premier League (PL) season and already a crisis is forming at Liverpool with a growing injury list and suspensions resulting in a winless start to the campaign (D2, L1), culminating in a 2-1 loss to fierce rivals Manchester United. Their title-hopes are already being written-off by many and if they fail to find victory in their opening four league matches for only the second time in their PL history, it may already be the final nail in that coffin.
There’s real concern for manager Jürgen Klopp, with club stalwarts James Milner and Virgil Van Dijk exchanging heated words at Old Trafford after Liverpool conceded the first goal for a seventh straight PL match. The Reds will now be looking at Bournemouth’s arrival at Anfield as a source of reprieve, with Liverpool winning the last six H2Hs by keeping five clean sheets and scoring 19 goals!
The fixture list hasn’t been kind in welcoming Bournemouth back to the top-flight, having played and lost to Manchester City (4-0) and Arsenal (3-0) prior to this fixture. The Cherries did pick-up a morale-boosting EFL Cup win in midweek, but still being labelled as the bookies favourite for relegation has forced manager Scott Parker to continue his search for quality despite having made five summer signings already.
Parker will play an influential role in his side’s performance here, being the last manager to travel to Anfield and pick up a PL win. He faces an uphill battle if that is his objective though, as Bournemouth have won only two of their last 17 PL away fixtures (D1, L14) whilst failing to score on nine occasions.
Players to watch: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has registered nine goal contributions (G8, A1) in his six PL games against Bournemouth. Visiting Jefferson Lerma will likely have his hands full in defensive midfield, but scoring three of his four PL goals before half-time shows he may provide an early threat too.
Hot streak: Liverpool have lost only one of their last 33 PL games against newly-promoted opposition (W26, D6).