Preview: Liverpool vs Bournemouth | English Premier League

Preview: Liverpool vs Bournemouth | English Premier League Liverpool are set to welcome Bournemouth to Anfield on Saturday within the 29th round of this season’s Premier League roller coaster....
Liverpool v Bournemouth
Liverpool v Bournemouth

Preview: Liverpool vs Bournemouth | English Premier League

Liverpool are set to welcome Bournemouth to Anfield on Saturday within the 29th round of this season’s Premier League roller coaster.

The Cherries produced one of the most thrilling comebacks in recent years in the English top-flight against Liverpool back in December 2016, when they managed to overturn a 1-3 deficit to win 4-3 at the Vitality Stadium. They also managed to squeeze out a point in the following encounter between these two teams at Anfield, but since then, Liverpool won four times in a row, all quite convincingly. The last time that happened early this season at the Vitality when strikes from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, and Mohamed Salah made sure Liverpool’s winning start to the campaign went on uninterrupted.

Liverpool

It has truly been a magnificent season for manager Jurgen Klopp and his team. So many people believed the sale of Philippe Coutinho in January 2018 would spell ruin for the revolution the German had started, but they simply regrouped and went on to reach the Champions League final that season, missed out on the Premier League title by a single point the following campaign, and went a step further by winning UEFA’s elite competition in 2019. Now, they sit at the very top of the table with a 22-point gap behind them, albeit with second-place Manchester City having a game in hand.

Their supporters, probably more than the players or the manager themselves, hoped they would be able to finish the season undefeated, but last week Watford shattered those hopes to pieces with a stunning 3-0 triumph at the Vicarage. Only three days later their dreams of a treble went out through the window too as Chelsea knocked them out of the FA Cup. Nonetheless, with the huge advantage, they’ve gained over the rest of the pack, they only need four more wins to mathematically secure the league title that has been eluding them for 30 years. It might take even less, providing defending champions City fail to win any of their own games in that time.

As for their title defense in the Champions League, it hasn’t been going too well, but they’re not out of it yet. They scrambled through their group, finishing above Napoli, RB Salzburg and Genk, but they lost the first leg of the round of 16 1-0 to Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in the Spanish capital.

Klopp is unable to call upon captain Jordan Henderson, with the England midfielder suffering from a hamstring issue at the moment. Winger Xherdan Shaqiri is also out, but midfielder Naby Keita has recovered from his own problems and is ready to play. It should be interesting to see whether the boss decides to shift things around after those two defeats in the last week.

Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s story in recent years is quite as remarkable as Liverpool’s, though on a significantly lower scale. The progress they’ve made since manager Eddie Howe took the reins in his first spell back in 2009 is worthy of great respect. They are now a regular and rather important part of the Premier League, having been on the edge of relegation from the professional football zone.

However, it’s not easy for clubs of such stature – very small compared to some – to maintain success at this level. This season has proven that to be the case when it comes to Bournemouth as they look genuinely in danger of dropping down a flight for the first time in a few years. There have even been reports suggesting Howe’s job was on the line. Watford’s win over Liverpool last week saw them enter the relegation zone (18th place, 27 points), and they will have to try and repeat the Hornets’ feat if they are to bounce out of it straight away – a daunting prospect, especially given that this game is being played at Anfield.

But even if they lose, the season is far from over. Teams directly above them don’t have much of an advantage – Watford and West Ham only have slightly better goal-difference, while Brighton and Hove Albion have a single point more to their name. There’s a long way to go yet.

Preview: Liverpool vs Bournemouth | English Premier League

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