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Bournemouth v Liverpool
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After collecting 11 points from their last five matches, Liverpool are two points clear in the Premier League after 20 matches. However, it’s a situation they have found themselves in before, and with Man City and Aston Villa only two points behind, there’s plenty of work still to do.
That work continues with a trip to the south coast to face a Bournemouth side which has been in good form in recent weeks. Since their 6-1 defeat to title contenders Man City, they’ve lost just once in their following nine matches. That was a 3-1 defeat away to Spurs, which can certainly be justified.
Key wins against Nottingham Forest, Man United, and Fulham all caught the eye, as the Cherries scored three in each of those matches. At home, they’ve only tasted defeat once in their last five, although that did come against Liverpool in the EFL Cup.
Liverpool themselves head into this with strong away form. With just one defeat in five, which came against Royale Union SG in the Europa League, where Jurgen Klopp heavily rotated his side.
The absence of Mo Salah will make Liverpool’s trip to the seaside slightly more difficult, but they still have strong alternatives to call upon.
Bournemouth v Liverpool Cheat Sheet
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⚽ Match stats: Salah no problem for visitors
Whilst Salah is at AFCON representing Egypt, the current joint Premier League top goalscorer, Klopp will turn to his Uruguayan to lead the line. Darwin Nunez has received his fair share of criticism this season, but the 24-year-old has more than contributed to the team.
With five goals to his name, he’s registered more assists (six), and across a fluid front three which may consist of Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Diego Jota, they will look to stretch Bournemouth’s defence, and continue to the title charge until Salah returns.
At home, Bournemouth have only picked up more points than Everton, Crystal Palace, Luton, Sheffield United and Burnley. They have played a game or two less than most, but it’s been their away form which has cemented a comfortable mid–table position at this stage of the season.
With the second best away record in the league, only three points behind Man City’s 22 who have played one game more, Klopp’s team has the quality to claim all three points on Sunday.
However, Liverpool have conceded 10 on their travels in the Premier League. Luton, Palace and Wolves have all found a way through, and with ex-Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke in red hot form, he may be able to score against his former employers.
⚽ Liverpool to win @ 1.67
⚽ Both teams to score @ 1.45
🎯 Shooting stats: South American capable of scoring
One forward we haven’t mentioned is Luis Diaz, who has impressed in recent weeks. The Colombian was responsible for securing the points away to Arsenal in what was a huge win for Liverpool, and that should fill him with confidence he can keep the title charge moving as long as Salah is away.
Drifting in from the left hand side, Luiz has the pace and ability to jinx his way past defenders and into promising goal scoring positions. With more responsibility with Salah out of the picture, and with Nunez continuing to be unselfish in his forward role, this may offer Luiz more opportunities against Bournemouth.
The forward had three shots against Arsenal, which included two on target and of course, his goal. If Liverpool break, expect Luiz to be using his pace to run at the defence and if he gets an opportunity to come inside onto his favoured right foot, he’ll be sure to take aim.
At the other end of the pitch, it’s hard to ignore Bournemouth’s top goalscorer who has been in prolific form. A goal at Old Trafford, hattrick at the City Ground before another against Fulham at home, he’s proven to be one of the most lethal in the league.
Liverpool certainly won’t have it all their own way, so expect their former player to be well and truly up for this one.
⚽ Luis Diaz to have 1+ shots on target @ 1.57
⚽ Dominic Solanke to have 1+ shots on target @ 1.62
🟨 Cards stats: Trent’s replacement to pick up a yellow
⚽ Conor Bradley to be shown a card @ 3.75
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* I recommend waiting for confirmed team line-ups before placing any bets.
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing.
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