AFC Bournemouth vs. Liverpool
| Sunday, December 17th |
Premier League | Vitality Stadium
4:30PM GMT / 11:30AM EST
Liverpool have begun the pivotal festive period with two disappointing draws that will feel all too familiar to fans of this team this season. When they’re on, these players seem unstoppable. When that switch doesn’t flip, however, it’s completely frustrating to watch for 90 minutes.
Now the Reds face the next challenge. They’re traveling to Vitality Stadium to take on Bournemouth in a fixture that will not bring up good memories from the recent past. Their last visit to the Vitality Stadium saw Liverpool give up a two-goal lead to lose to the Cherries 4-3.
Klopp’s rotation schedule, which seems to be working on logic that we’re not privy to, makes it difficult to anticipate what kind of team will step out on the pitch tomorrow.
For Bournemouth, Brad Smith, Adam Federici, and Tyrone Mings are all out. Eddie Howe finds himself with a similar conundrum to Klopp as his team is also in something of a goal drought. They’ve only scored one goal in their last three league games. Liverpool got that glut of goals against Spartak Moscow, then scored one and conceded one in their last two matches.
Both teams will be hoping to get back to scoring ways. Considering there were 11 goals scored between the two games last season, chances are good that this will be another entertaining match.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Mignolet; Gomez, Lovren, Klavan, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Coutinho; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Simon Mignolet will be back in contention for this game and likely retake his position in goal from Loris Karius. Emre Can will be serving a one-game ban for an accumulation of yellow cards.
The big news for Liverpool is that Adam Lallana is said to be ready for the matchday squad. He has been in full training, and while he likely won’t be ready to start tomorrow, Klopp has hinted that he will at least be on the bench.
Alberto Moreno remains out for the foreseeable future, forcing Klopp to make some choices at left-back. He could choose Andrew Robertson in that position again or return to James Milner.
Klopp’s rotation keeps everyone guessing, so it’ll be interesting to see how he sets up his team against Bournemouth. He may choose to put Firmino and Solanke up front in a 4-4-2 instead of his more traditional 4-4-3.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jürgen Klopp: "I saw Bournemouth playing at Manchester United, and it was really good how they played. Clear structure, good defending, good football playing team. I have big respect for what they are doing."
Eddie Howe: "We know how big a challenge it will be, Liverpool have added quality and in attack, they excel with their pace, technique and movement."
Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistants: Simon Beck, Scott Ledger
Fourth official: Kevin Friend
Kickoff is set for 4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV. In the meantime, we'll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it's released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.