Bournemouth v Liverpool: Match Preview, Predictions & Kickoff Information | Premier League 2018-19
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool travels to the Vitality Stadium to test themselves against challenging opponents Bournemouth on Saturday knowing that three points will take them top of the table in the Premier League, with league leaders Manchester City travelling to Stamford Bridge later in the day.
The German boss will be hoping his side make light work of the Cherries, just as they did last season when they won 4-0 and 3-0.
As far as Eddie Howe's team is concerned, they will be looking to build on their win from last week against Huddersfield - three points that ended a run of four consecutive defeats.
Here's all you need to know ahead of the game.
Bournemouth v Liverpool: Kickoff information
Date: 8 December 2018
Time: 12:30 PM (local time), 6:00 PM (IST)
Venue: The Vitality Stadium
Bournemouth v Liverpool: Team news
Cherries' star midfielder Lewis Cook will be out for the remainder of the season due to a serious knee injury. Dan Gosling is out due to a similar issue, while Adam Smith is yet to attain match fitness.
Speaking of his side's chance to go top of the ladder for a few hours at least, Klopp said:
"I don't think they (Manchester City) feel pressure! They don't look like they do. That's not the first target anyway, the first target is to try to perform on the highest level, because it's needed at Bournemouth. Eddie [Howe] is doing a fantastic job there, and it will be difficult enough."
For the Merseyside club, Joe Gomez is ruled out for six weeks after having fractured his left leg. Injuries to Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren only add to the unavailability of defenders.
While Sadio Mane is doubtful for the clash, Dominic Solanke and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remain long-term casualties.
Bournemouth v Liverpool: Probable line-ups
Bournemouth (4-4-2): Begovic; Francis, S Cook, Ake, Daniels; Brooks, Surman, Lerma, Fraser; King, Wilson
Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Keita; Lallana, Firmino, Salah; Sturridge
Bournemouth v Liverpool: Form guide
Last 5 matches (in all competitions)
Bournemouth v Liverpool: Head-to-head
In the Premier League so far:
Bournemouth wins: 1
Liverpool wins: 4
Bournemouth v Liverpool: Key players
There's been a lot of talk about Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson, but young David Brooks will be the player to watch out for. He might not be the most physically daunting of individuals, but the Englishman's intelligence to get in behind and create chances is a real asset to have.
Brooks has shown earlier that he can produce goals from 'nothing' moments and thus, he could be a vital force for the hosts when Liverpool are dominating possession.
No Mane? No problem. Roberto Firmino seems to have picked up some form in the last two-three games; something that was required to reduce the burden from fellow forwards in Salah and Mane.
His ability to draw defenders out, finish and tirelessly work for the ball will be menacing for Howe's boys.
Bournemouth v Liverpool: Prediction
The Cherries will have their attacking phases of play and Eddie Howe will not settle for anything but a win. They will be able to conduct free-flowing football sporadically, but Liverpool's resilience and hunger should be able to get them over the line.
Expect a tight game, given the fact that the Reds will have some tired legs and one eye on the Champions League fixture against Napoli.
Predicted score: Bournemouth 1-2 Liverpool