Bournemouth vs Liverpool preview: Reds face defensive reshuffle
Watch live on Sky Sports Premier League from 11.30am on Saturday
Last Updated: 08/12/18 11:11am
Liverpool will be without defenders Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez when they travel to Bournemouth on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
Gomez is expected to miss up to six weeks after fracturing his lower left leg in the 3-1 win over Burnley on Wednesday.
Lovren will miss the trip to the Vitality Stadium due to concussion, which could mean Joel Matip starts alongside Virgil van Dijk in defence.
Liverpool will go top of the Premier League table if they beat Bournemouth, with leaders Manchester City travelling to Chelsea later in the day.
Asked about the opportunity to put pressure on City, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: "I don't think they feel pressure! They don't look like they do.
"That's not the first target anyway, the first target is to try to perform on the highest level, because it's needed at Bournemouth. Eddie [Howe] is doing a fantastic job there, and it will be difficult enough."
Bournemouth ended a four-match losing run with a 2-1 victory over Huddersfield in midweek.
Eddie Howe does not expect Liverpool to take his side lightly, despite facing a must-win Champions League match against Napoli next week.
"I think they will look at our game as a very important one in their Premier League season. They are not going to take us lightly. We anticipate meeting a full strength Liverpool team."
Bournemouth will be without England midfielder Lewis Cook for the rest of the season because of a serious knee injury.
Midfielder Dan Gosling will also miss the game at the Vitality Stadium with his own knee problem. Defender Adam Smith (knee) continues his rehabilitation.
Liverpool are without defenders Lovren, Gomez and Nathaniel Clyne (muscle).
Sadio Mane is a doubt while Dominic Solanke (groin) is out in addition to long-term absentees Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rhian Brewster (knee).
However, left-back Andy Robertson returns to the squad having been rested for the midweek win at Burnley.
Bournemouth v Liverpool
See Liverpool travel to Bournemouth this Saturday on Sky Sports Premier League
- Bournemouth have lost four of their six Premier League matches against Liverpool (W1 D1), losing both matches last season by an aggregate score of 0-7.
- Liverpool's only defeat in 13 previous matches against Bournemouth in all competitions (W9 D3) came at the Vitality Stadium in the Premier League in December 2016; the Reds lost 3-4.
- Bournemouth had 43 shots in their first three Premier League games against Liverpool, while facing 47; in their last three, they've had just 20 shots while facing 61.
- Bournemouth's win against Huddersfield in the midweek fixtures ended a run of four successive defeats for the Cherries.
- Liverpool have won 39 points from 15 league games this season, which is their best-ever start to a top-flight league season. Only six sides (including Manchester City this season) have won more points from their opening 15 league games to a top-flight season (based on three points for a win).
- Bournemouth's Callum Wilson has scored eight goals in his 15 Premier League games this season - he last scored more in a league campaign in 2014-15, when he netted 20 goals in 45 Championship games in Bournemouth's promotion season.
- James Milner could make his 500th Premier League appearance in this match, becoming the 13th player to reach this landmark. Should he play in this game, he'll become the 2nd youngest to do so aged 32y 338d old, behind only Gareth Barry (32y 219d).
Paul Merson's prediction
Liverpool have got to somehow stay on the heels of Manchester City. It's probably Manchester City's hardest game this weekend so Liverpool have to make sure they win. I thought Bournemouth were very fortunate against Huddersfield. I fancied Bournemouth to win quite comfortably. They did win the game in the end but I do not know how? I have to side with Liverpool for an away win.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3 (10/1 with Sky Bet)