MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 1, 2023: Liverpool and Bournemouth players shake hands before the Football League Cup 4th Round match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at Dean Court. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Bournemouth vs. Liverpool: 10 key things to know as Premier League returns

Liverpool are back in Premier League action after a hard-earned rest and have a trip to the south coast to face mid-table Bournemouth.

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.

After Man City applied pressure at the top of the table with their late win at Newcastle, Jurgen Klopp‘s side will be keen to pick up where they left off.

Let’s take a look at 10 key things you need to know ahead of Bournemouth vs. Liverpool.

 

1. Team news

The bad news is that Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai are still out, as is Andy Robertson. However, they are “close” and “going in the right direction,” according to Klopp.

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

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) gets past Bournemouth's Milos Kerkez during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.

The Reds fell to a 1-0 defeat away to Bournemouth, with Mohamed Salah missing a costly penalty in the second half.

Time to put that right!

 

4. Solanke’s point to prove?

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 11, 2023: Bournemouth's Dominic Solanke (C) is challenged by Liverpool's Diogo Jota (R) during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at the Vitality Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Dominic Solanke has been a revelation for Iraola’s side in recent times, netting an impressive 12 times in 19 Premier League appearances so far this season.

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

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's Connor Bradley during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool are suffering something of a mini-injury crisis at full-back, but one person who has benefitted from that is Conor Bradley.

The youngster grabbed his big opportunity with both hands against Fulham, producing a fine display in the League Cup semi-final that attracted rave reviews among supporters.

Sunday’s Premier League clash will be another challenge and another good opportunity to assess the 20-year-old’s current level.

READ: Jurgen Klopp to keep faith in Conor Bradley as Harvey Elliott decision awaits

 

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

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Man City‘s late turnaround victory over Newcastle last weekend was a huge source of frustration among fans, but the reality is that the ball is still very much in Liverpool’s court.

A win would put five points between the Reds and Pep Guardiola’s side once again, while Aston Villa, Arsenal and Tottenham continue to lurk in the background.

 

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.

It is the second time Liverpool will have visited Bournemouth this season, with a Darwin Nunez wonder strike helping to settle the score in a 2-1 League Cup victory back in November.

 

9. Tierney again

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 26, 2023: Referee Paul Tierney during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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!

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Thursday, December 22, 2022: A general view of the stadium before the FA Youth Cup 4th Round match between AFC Bournemouth Under-18's and Liverpool FC Under-18's at the Dean Court. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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!