Bournemouth‘s topsy turvy season continued as they fell to a 0-2 defeat at relegation-threatened Cardiff City in the weekend.
After fantastic wins over Chelsea and West Ham United, in which they scored six goals without conceding any, the Cherries were expected to build on those wins and edge closer to 7th placed Wolves. But their inconsistency caught up with them and thus Eddie Howe has to now plan for a massive upset with their next fixture a trip to Anfield on Saturday.
Liverpool, themselves, have looked uncertain in recent weeks and with Manchester City breathing down their necks, will be desperate for the 3 points. This is where Howe can formulate a plan, though, as he has the artillery and tactical nous to exploit any sort of slip-ups which might be made by the home team.
The Cherries have recently decimated Chelsea by four goals and will not be bogged by their opponent’s stature or league position. An exciting match-up is thus anticipated with two adventurous managers pitting their wits against each other.
EARLY BOURNEMOUTH TEAM NEWS
Lewis Cook, Simon Francis, David Brooks and Callum Wilson are sidelined while Nathaniel Clyne will have to sit out of this one with his loan terms making him ineligible against his parent club.
PREDICTED BOURNEMOUTH LINEUP VS LIVERPOOL (4-4-1-1)
Artur Boruc will start between the sticks for the away side. He has been decent this season and will have to be at the top of his game facing the likes of Salah, Firmino and Mane.
With Nathaniel Clyne ineligible, Adam Smith is likely to move to right-back which will see Charlie Daniels get a start in his favoured left-back position. The fullbacks will have an important part to play especially facing up to the two wing-wizards Liverpool possess.
In central defence, the impressive Steve Cook will partner Nathan Ake. The duo has to stick to their gameplan and not afford any space or time to the Liverpool attack in and around the box.
Howe is likely to play four in midfield. Ryan Fraser will play on the left-flank with Junior Stanislas expected to start on the right flank. Fraser has been relatively quiet since his goal and assist against Watford in Matchweek 21 but will have to come up with the goods if the Cherries are to put any pressure on the Reds.
In central midfield, Jefferson Lerma should be coming into the team and could line up alongside Andrew Surman.
With Callum Wilson out, Dominic Solanke will be leading the attack against his old side. He will have a point to prove after failing to make the breakthrough at Anfield and will look to kickstart his career with the Cherries.