Saturday’s Premier League teatime game sees Liverpool host Bournemouth at Anfield.
Should Chelsea fail to win at Southampton earlier in day, Liverpool can take a huge step towards Champions League qualification with victory here.
Bournemouth meanwhile can virtually secure safety with a shock three points if win here.
Liverpool are without Rhian Brewster (ankle) and Joel Matip (thigh) for remainder of season.
It’s unclear when Joe Gomez (ankle) or Adam Lallana (hamstring) will return from injuries.
Emre Can is expected to return from a back injury against West Bromwich Albion next Saturday.
Bournemouth will be without winger, Junior Stanislas for rest of season after he picked up a knee injury against West Brom last weekend.
Jordan Ibe however is set to return following illness.
Adam Smith meanwhile could return from a knee injury for Bournemouth’s final two matches against Swansea City and Burnley.
Defender, Tyrone Mings currently lacks match fitness so its unclear if he could feature here.
Liverpool enter this off the back of a thrilling victory over Manchester City in Champions League.
League wise, the Reds are unbeaten in 10 of their 12 games in 2018 (W8 D2) and last lost at home nearly a year ago.
Liverpool’s top scorer, Mohamed Salah has scored five goals on his last two league starts.
Bournemouth have suffered just two league defeats in 2018 (W4 D5) whilst scoring in every game.
The Cherries have in fact found the net in last 13 games following a 4-0 away defeat at Manchester City.
In that time they have met the three London members of ‘Big Six’, winning two and losing one.
- Liverpool have lost just one of 12 meetings in all competitions against Bournemouth (W8 D3).
- In five Premier League meetings, Liverpool have kept clean sheets on just two occasions, including December’s 4-0 win at Vitaly Stadium.
- These teams have met just three times on a Saturday in all competitions, with Liverpool winning one and drawing twice.
- Liverpool’s last Premier League hat trick came in March 2014, courtesy of Luis Suarez.
- Liverpool’s joint top scorer with two goals apiece in this fixture are Phillipe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi. Six other players have scored a goal each, including; Emre Can, Dejan Lovren, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
- Mohamed Salah have eight goals in last six appearances across all competitions.
Where can game be won or lost?
|Per Game Average||Liverpool (home)||Bournemouth (away)|
|Shots on Target||7.19||3.88|
|Goals per First Half %||34.2||50|
|Goals per Second Half %||65.8||50|
Although Liverpool are miles better in the attacking department, Bournemouth could very well provide a stern test here.
The Cherries might not have players like Salah or Can or Virgil van Dijk, but are the second best team when it comes to committing less fouls away from home.
That is going to make them dangerous when going forwards against Liverpool, whose 9.19 foul average is fourth best for home teams but still behind Bournemouth who top the home foul stats.
Bournemouth are also more consistent in their away goals per half average meaning that the Reds can attack all they want but defence could very well be key here to the result.
In summary, expect Liverpool to attack but meet tough resistance from a difficult away side.
Liverpool will be high from beating Manchester City in midweek to reach Champions League semi finals.
That and being at home will give them a real boost for this game and I can see them just having the edge here despite Bournemouth’s defence.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Bournemouth
Jake predicts: Liverpool 3-1 Bournemouth
Result: Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth