Bournemouth vs Liverpool – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 11th March 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we examine Liverpool’s visit to the Vitality Stadium. Liverpool must improve their away form to gain a CL spot – can they start here? Read on with our Bournemouth vs Liverpool prediction.
Bournemouth vs Liverpool Match Preview
After a poor run, Bournemouth have improved slightly. Gary O Neil’s side won one and drew two of the previous six games. Indeed, a victory over Wolves and a hard-fought draw against Forest were much-needed for the Cherries. However, this run also includes losses to Brighton, Man City, and Arsenal. The defeat at the Emirates at the weekend was devastating. Bournemouth were shockingly leading 2-0 with half an hour to go before Arsenal pulled two back and then won the game in injury time. This defeat leaves Bournemouth rooted to the bottom of the table, with 21 points from 25 games. They look certainties for relegation.
At home, Bournemouth have won four games and accrued 13 points, so like many teams, they are better on their own patch than on their travels. However, defeats to Arsenal, Spurs, and last time against Man City highlight that they struggle against top teams even when hosting the game. The South Coast side have conceded 16 goals at home this season. They must improve this statistic – especially with Liverpool coming to town.
Liverpool’s season has been mostly disappointing. They are practically out of the Champions League after a 5-2 home loss to Real Madrid, and they have languished in mid-table for most of the season. However, there has been recent improvement by Jurgen Klopp’s men. Indeed, they sit top of the form table over the last six games, with 13 points and four wins in that run. Furthermore, they haven’t conceded a goal in their previous five matches. The game at the weekend will be talked about for decades, as Liverpool romped to a resounding 7-0 hammering over rivals Man Utd at Anfield. United were said by some to be doing well (though we were cautious about their progress) but were thoroughly dismantled thanks to Gakpo, Nunez, and Salah braces and a seventh by Firmino.
Courtesy of this seismic result, Liverpool have now climbed to fifth in the league and are back on course to gain a Champions League spot after looking out of contention several weeks ago. They have won only three of twelve on their travels this season. However, they hope to rectify this statistic as the season reaches its climax. Away to Bournemouth represents an excellent opportunity to start improving their away form.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Kelly, Lerma, Tavernier, Traore, Zabarnyi
Will Not Play: Brooks, Stanislas, Vina
Might Not Play: Arthur, Gomez, Keita
Will Not Play: Diaz, Ramsay, Thiago
Bournemouth vs Liverpool Lineups (Predicted)
Bournemouth (5-4-1): Neto; Zemura, Mepham, Senesi, Stephens, Smith; Traore, Lerma, Billing, Ouattara; Solanke
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Robertson, Van Dijk, Konate Alexander-Arnold; Fabinho, Henderson, Elliott; Nunez, Gakpo, Salah
Bournemouth vs Liverpool Analysis
Bournemouth’s Defensive Issues
Bournemouth don’t score many goals, with 24 in their 25 games this season. However, this is only one of their problems. Their primary issue is their appalling defensive record. They have conceded a massive 51 this season, an average of over two per game. They have also only kept five clean sheets all season. It is apparent that if a team has these defensive statistics, they are in significant trouble. They would have to be prolific at the other end to win games (which Bournemouth are not). Therefore, the Cherries must try to tighten up at the back.
This match represents a problematic place for Bournemouth to try to concede fewer chances and, therefore, goals. Indeed, Liverpool are rampant right now. Even the reverse fixture was a 9-0 destruction that led to former boss Scott Parker’s dismissal. Bournemouth will likely line up with a 5-4-1, with five at the back and two defending wingers designed to maintain a low block to repel Liverpool. The disparity in talent and resources in this game is massive. It will take a Herculean effort for Bournemouth to come away with a clean sheet.
Liverpool’s Confidence After Hammering Man Utd 7-0
As stated, Liverpool have shown signs of resurgence in recent weeks. The aberration against Real Madrid aside (and even there, they took a 2-0 lead), they have been scoring a reasonable number of goals. Before the weekend, they had registered six in their previous four games. However, while some of us fancied Liverpool to get a result against a confident United side, nobody could have predicted a 7-0 rout. The xG stat was 2.91, but this doesn’t truly reflect Liverpool’s dominance on the day. United were torn apart in the second half and could have conceded ten.
The game was a throwback to recent years when Liverpool could decimate any team in the world on their day, especially at Anfield. If Liverpool don’t take great confidence from this performance and continue building momentum, something will have gone badly wrong. A game against Bournemouth represents a fantastic opportunity to rack up more goals and maintain their superb form and run of clean sheets. The Liverpool players (especially the attackers) should be buoyed after the weekend.
The Pattern Of The Game
It is, therefore, obvious what the pattern of the game will be. As stated, Bournemouth will mostly play in a low block, looking to counter when they can against a vastly more talented side with a much superior manager. The onus will be on Liverpool to break them down. Bournemouth are bottom of the possession table, and Liverpool are near the top, so we anticipate Liverpool having about 65 to 70 per cent of the ball minimum. In recent years, it has been an effective tactic for inferior teams to play on the counter. All it takes to get some joy is speedy wingers to burst into space when the better team’s shape is disrupted. In Ouattara and Traore (if they play), Bournemouth have these tricky players.
Robertson and Alexander-Arnold will fly forward as usual for Liverpool, and it will be up to Fabinho and Henderson to diligently fill the spaces. Salah, Gakpo, Nunez, and Elliott will likely terrorise Bournemouth for most of the game, dribbling against their full-backs and looking to find cutbacks, crosses, and shots on goal. Zemura and Smith will likely be pinned back and must be wary of the Liverpool threat. They will need help from Lerma and Billing, and – indeed – we see this being a backs-to-the-wall effort with blocks and last-ditch defending by Bournemouth.
There aren’t many bigger mismatches in the Premier League than this. Without being disrespectful or unkind, Bournemouth probably have the weakest squad in the league. Alternatively, Liverpool are full of world-class players and internationals. While football is a low-scoring, high-variance sport, and part of its beauty and charm is that a lesser team can defeat a much superior team on their day, that’s often because everything goes right for the inferior outfit. Bournemouth are horrendous defensively, and Liverpool have tremendous firepower and a stronger bench to call on.
Earlier in the season, when Liverpool were struggling and shipping goals, we may have seen a glimmer of hope for Bournemouth. However, Liverpool were professional on Sunday and showed United no mercy – they never took their boot off the throat. They will be determined to end the season well and finish in a Champions League spot. One potential caveat is Liverpool’s next game after this is the return leg against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu. They might have one eye on that. Anything can happen in this beautiful sport we all love. However, the logical prediction here is undoubtedly a relatively comfortable win for Liverpool by two or three goals.
Bournemouth 0-3 Liverpool
Bournemouth vs Liverpool Betting Tip – Liverpool -1 (Win by 2 or More) Odds:
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