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Coutinho (20'), Lovren (26'), Salah (44'), Firmino (66')

Preview: Bournemouth vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides predicted lineups, teams news and a full preview of Liverpool's trip to face Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

Liverpool will attempt to return to winning ways when they take on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday afternoon, but last season's dramatic Premier League defeat will not be far from their minds.

Eddie Howe's side managed to come from 3-1 down to claim a 4-3 triumph over the Reds, with three of the Cherries' goals coming in the final 17 minutes of the fixture.


A triumphant Eddie Howe after the Premier League game between Stoke City and Bournemouth on October 21, 2017© SilverHub

Much has been said about the club's fairytale rise up the divisions over the last few seasons, but in the current 2017-18 campaign, the threat of relegation is all too real.

As it stands, the south coast club are just two points above the bottom three after 17 games, and that is largely down to the team's poor start.

Howe's men began the campaign on the back foot due to four consecutive defeats, and in that time the Cherries managed to muster up just one goal in 360 minutes of action.

Across August and September, Howe could only guide the players to one victory in seven top-flight matches, and that was a 2-1 triumph over promoted side Brighton & Hove Albion.

In fact, so far this season, Bournemouth have scooped up just four league wins, while four have ended in draws and the rest losses.

Neither end of the pitch has been performing particularly well given that the team have netted just 15 goals - the joint-fourth lowest tally in the division so far - and have kept just four clean sheets.

Only Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and Stoke City have recorded fewer shutouts than the Cherries, but Howe's team can take comfort in the fact that they have not been rolled over by some the so-called 'big' clubs of the league.

Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester United all won with a 1-0 scoreline, while Manchester City were 2-1 winners during the showdown at the Vitality Stadium in August.

The exception was Arsenal, who secret a 3-0 victory in the early stages of the season, and with high-scoring Liverpool coming into town, Bournemouth's defence may feel nervous, but they have proven before that they are capable of causing an upset to the Reds.

With the hectic festive schedule fast approaching, these next few games could be pivotal for the Cherries' season, particularly as the team face league leaders Man City away next week.

Recent Premier League form: WDLDDL


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reacts during his side's Premier League clash with Newcastle United at St James' Park on October 1, 2017© SilverHub

Every superlative under the sun has probably been used to describe the Reds' attacking prowess, but the same old problems continue to mar the club's progress.

Recently, Jurgen Klopp's men hit 15 goals in three games in all competitions, with Mohamed Salah leading the way as top scorer with 19 goals, 13 of which have been struck in the Premier League.

The Egyptian international is currently leading the race for the Golden Boot, while his teammates Roberto Firmino (12), Philippe Coutinho (9) and Sadio Mane (7) have also been chipping in across all competitions.

However, in the team's last two matches - against Everton and West Bromwich Albion - the players struggled to find the back of the net, and in the end, only one goal was scored.

Like last season, Klopp's team have had trouble trying to break down sturdy defences, and there is rarely a 'plan B' when their opponents fill bodies across the middle of the park.

Defensive frailties have been highlighted once again, and there is always a sense that the opposing team is in with a chance due to Liverpool's occasional inability to kill off games.

For example, the Reds dominated the Merseyside derby last weekend, but failure to make the most of their goalscoring opportunities resulted in Wayne Rooney nicking a point for Everton from the penalty spot.

Klopp appeared rattled over the penalty decision after the game, and frustrations will continue to grow if the team do not get back to winning ways.

It is worth noting, however, that the Reds are unbeaten in their last 11 games in all competitions and remain in a healthy position in the Premier League table.

The club are level on points with Tottenham Hotspur and sit two points adrift of fourth spot after 17 games.

Recent Premier League form: WDWWDD
Recent form (all competitions): DWWWDD

Team News

Adam Lallana in action during the Premier League game between Everton and Liverpool on December 19, 2016© SilverHub

Adam Lallana is expected to be in the matchday squad for the visitors this weekend after making just one appearance following a pre-season thigh injury.

Simon Mignolet is likely to take his place in goal after recovering from a swollen ankle, but there is still doubt surrounding Daniel Sturridge, who is nursing a hamstring problem.

Much has been made of Klopp's rotation policy, mainly because the German coach dropped Coutinho and Firmino to the bench for the visit of Merseyside rivals Everton last weekend.

Given that the team have failed to win their last two games, the manager is likely to put the Brazilian pair, along with Salah and Mane into the first XI.

Emre Can will miss the game due to suspension, which means that Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson are expected to be placed in the middle of the park.

As for Bournemouth, Harry Arter and Steve Cook are both one booking away from suspension and may not be included in the lineup on Sunday afternoon.

Goals have been hard to come by of late given that the team have netted just once in their last three top-flight games, but Jermain Defoe is likely to lead the line, with Joshua King providing support.

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Begovic; Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels; Stanislas, L Cook, Surman, Ibe; King; Defoe

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Mignolet; Gomez, Lovren, Klavan, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Coutinho; Salah, Firmino, Mane

Head To Head

Last season's fixture between the two clubs at the Vitality Stadium will give Bournemouth hope heading into the match, particularly as the team know that there are defensive issues to exploit.

Howe's men were 3-1 down heading into the final 20 minutes, but they managed to turn things around thanks to goals from Ryan Fraser, Steve Cook and Nathan Ake, who netted the winner in the third minute of added time.

The result was a major one for the Cherries, but that was their only win in 11 games in all competitions against the Merseyside outfit, who have won seven and drawn three.

Sunday's fixture could end in a big scoreline either way given that the last two meetings between the pair produced 11 goals.

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Bournemouth 0-3 Liverpool

Arguably, this is a good time for Bournemouth to play Liverpool due to the fact that Klopp's men are experiencing somewhat of a goalscoring drought. However, if the manager picks his best team on the south coast, it is difficult to envisage anything other than a Liverpool victory. If the Cherries play an attacking game, then they will have opportunities to cut open their visitors at the back, but Bournemouth have been struggling for goals and they may end up spending most of the contest on the back foot.

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Eddie Howe watches on during the Premier League game between Bournemouth and Swansea City on March 18, 2017
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