There’s little doubting the importance of this match for Liverpool. They just saw their biggest fear become reality as Man City usurped them to once again regain their position – admittedly without any point lead – at the top of the Premier League.
However, we shouldn’t be so quick to count out Bournemouth, who recently showed just how deadly they could be against Chelsea. The away team will be looking to regain some momentum after losing to an ailing Cardiff side. They have lacked consistency for sure, with a seesaw season seeing them right the middle of the standings, but when they bring their A-game, they are a force to be reckoned with.
Unfortunately for them, they are up against a side that rarely bring anything else. But with a Premier League that’s been full of surprises, we’ve long since learned to write anyone off until the final whistle blows.
Liverpool vs AFC Bournemouth Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth
Let’s not beat around the bush, it’s fairly obvious to anyone who has looked at this contest in any kind of depth that a Liverpool victory is the most likely result. It’s not certain but is most likely by a considerable margin.
The Reds have performed significantly better throughout this season. They also have the home field advantage and will not be lacking in determination due to the importance of this game in their title hunt. Not only that but Bournemouth’s performance against Chelsea, for instance, is far from the norm. With that in mind, we expect a fairly comprehensive victory here, with a predicted scoreline of 3-0 to Liverpool.
Our recommended tip: Liverpool win to nil
Currently sitting in second place in the Premier League standings and tied on points with frontrunners Manchester City, it’s hardly surprising that the odds are in Liverpool’s favour here. The home side come into this contest with a huge 80% win probability compared to Bournemouth’s 6%. At Paddy Power, the difference in odds is significant, with Liverpool getting low-risk 1/6 match odds and Bournemouth fans having to settle for much higher risk 13/1 odds. However, those who want to back the favourites but with a higher potential ROI can instead predict that Liverpool will win to nil to get 11/10 odds on this result.
Further backing up our predicted scoreline of this game is the previous matches between Liverpool and Bournemouth. Since 1927, they’ve faced 14 times, which is not many considering the timeframe. During those contests, Bournemouth have only won once. On the plus side, that win came relatively recently in 2016.
Considering though that Liverpool stand at this moment on a trio of victories – each of which saw them win to nil –, the result here is one that is predictably depressing for Bournemouth. Ultimately, a win in 2016 shows it is possible, while everything else shows it is unlikely: that is essentially the story of this match.
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Players to watch: Mohamed Salah & Josh King
Liverpool: Mohamed Salah
Sadio Mané might be an obvious choice, considering his strikes were the only thing standing between Liverpool and defeat in their last two contests. However, we’re going to head back to their last couple of victories and pick Mohamed Salah for the one to watch here. He was instrumental in both their wins over Crystal Palace and Brighton, and indeed, countless other outings. We think in a game of this importance, he might just be the difference maker here as well.
AFC Bournemouth: Josh King
If we want to see how Bournemouth can topple a team of the calibre of Liverpool, we only need to look at their sensational performance against Chelsea. In that contest – with the help of David Brooks, who is sadly out on injury at the moment –, the man of the hour was none other than the sensational Josh King. There’s no doubt that we, and the Bournemouth fans, will be looking to him once again to shock the world.