The league season is a mere three games old, and already it has thrown up some extraordinary results. Liverpool are idling on just 2 points, and the next handful of fixtures could very much define their season.
After their triumphant Community Shield display, Liverpool were expected to take the league by storm. Just a few weeks later however, Jurgen’s men have been decimated by injuries, one costly red card, and a stream of poor performances. This weekends game starts much like those previous, with the reds absolutely needing maximum points.
Bournemouth are a team that are likely to struggle, with limited summer strengthening. They currently reside on three points, and will probably fancy there chances of increasing that tally over the weekend.
On the injury front, Scott Parker has David Brooks, Joseph Rothwell, Ryan Fredericks and Junior Stanislas out. On the bright side, former Liverpool youngster, Dominic Solanke could be set for a return, and Jamal Lewis should have recovered from illness. Though the line up should repeat that which lost at home to Arsenal last weekend, Solanke may be someone he’d be looking to throw in.
For the home side, the list of injuries is staggering. Caoimhin Kelleher is out of the goalkeepers pool, Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip and Calvin Ramsey are out of the defensive list, Curtis Jones, Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita are missing from the midfield group, and Diogo Jota is also missing from the attacking options. Darwin Nunez is still suspended, and that makes ten first team players unavailable for selection.
Jurgen Klopp simply cannot afford another slip, and will surely see recruits incoming next week. This game will come before that can happen, and he will potentially look towards the bright youth of tomorrow. James Milner and Jordan Henderson are now in full regression, and Klopp would be smart to sit both these players out for the visit of Bournemouth. Fábio Carvalho, Harvey Elliott and Stefan Bajcetic could be starting pieces, with Mohamed Salah, Fabinho and Luis Diaz making up the spots. The defence should remain unchanged, in the hope that they are awarded better coverage by their midfield.
This game is interesting, with both teams showing such poor form last weekend. Liverpool have major problems regarding selection, and have to decide whether to persevere with the likes of Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino. I sense the rot could be about to stop, and Liverpool will be quick out of the gates. With strength still on the pitch, Scott Parker’s performance last weekend should be just about repeated.
Player to watch – Mohamed Salah
Liverpool 5 – 0 Bournemouth