Bournemouth vs. Liverpool
Premier League (21) | Vitality Stadium
January 21, 2024 | 4.30pm (GMT)
The Reds have had a rare breather from league matters in recent weeks, with cup commitments followed by a winter break after the hectic festive period.
Let’s take a look at 10 key things you need to know ahead of Bournemouth vs. Liverpool.
1. Team news
The manager’s biggest selection conundrum comes on the right, where he must decide whether to keep Harvey Elliott on the wing or drop him into midfield, favouring a faster, more attacking player to act as the right forward.
Thankfully, of the current squad training in Kirkby, there are no further injury issues to worry about, for now.
2. The hosts are missing a couple
With seven wins from their last nine games in all competitions, Andoni Iraola’s team have every right to approach the game with confidence.
They will, however, be missing Adam Smith and Milos Kerkez from their ranks. In his pre-match press-conference, Iraola also added that Lloyd Kelly is “not 100 percent guaranteed to play.”
They are also without Antoine Semenyo and Dango Ouattara, who are at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana and Burkina Faso respectively.
3. Score to settle
One of Liverpool’s lowest points of last season came at the scene of this weekend’s fixture, just six days after the historic 7-0 thrashing of Man United at Anfield.
Time to put that right!
4. Solanke’s point to prove?
The 26-year-old played 27 times for the Reds in all competitions during the 2017/18 season, but failed to carve out a regular place in a front three packed with quality, and eventually secured a £19 million move to the Cherries in January, 2019.
It took him a little while to get going, but he is certainly finding his feet at the Vitality Stadium now.
5. Another chance for Bradley
Liverpool are suffering something of a mini-injury crisis at full-back, but one person who has benefitted from that is Conor Bradley.
Sunday’s Premier League clash will be another challenge and another good opportunity to assess the 20-year-old’s current level.
6. A rare extended break
Liverpool have been used to playing games every three or four days when competing on multiple fronts, but the build-up to Bournemouth has been longer than usual.
It will have been 20 days since the Reds played in the Premier League, by the time they take to the field against the Cherries, with cup clashes against Arsenal and Fulham followed by last weekend’s winter break.
That is three weeks of looking down on the rest from the top of the table, so it’s not all bad!
7. Time for a statement
8. ‘Bogey ground’ myth
Last season’s slip aside, the Bournemouth‘s ground has typically been a fruitful venue as far as Liverpool are concerned.
Many are treating Sunday’s game as a potential banana skin but, prior to the 1-0 defeat 12 months ago, the Reds had won six of their previous seven visits dating back to 2014.
9. Tierney again
We can’t seem to avoid him!
Paul Tierney will once again be involved this weekend as he watches on from the VAR booth at Stockley Park, with Andy Madley acting as referee on Sunday afternoon.
Harry Lennard and Nick Hopton will be running the lines, while Graham Scott assumes the role of fourth official and Scott Ledger assists Tierney on VAR.
10. Follow along with us!
As always, This Is Anfield will be on hand to provide all of the updates from the Vitality Stadium, as the Reds look to keep their noses in front at the top of the table.
It never gets boring saying that!
Our matchday liveblog will be available on our website from 3.45pm (GMT) ahead of kick-off at 4.30pm and we will be giving you all the latest on what we hope will be another joyous afternoon for Liverpool.
Up the Reds!