Things haven’t quite gone to plan for Liverpool of late. The Reds went five points clear at the top of the Premier League last month but have since been reigned back in by Manchester City.
Narrow wins over Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace have been followed by successive draws against Leicester City and West Ham United. Now they’re second-favourites for the title.
On paper a visit from AFC Bournemouth doesn’t seem like the easiest test. But we think the Reds will lay down a significant marker this weekend to get their title bid back on track.
And here’s why…
Bournemouth away to the top six
Eddie Howe’s men have been a breath of fresh air since their promotion to the Premier League in 2016. But their record against the division’s so-called ‘big six’ leaves a lot to be desired.
The Cherries have picked up just five points from 42 available against the big boys, shipping 36 goals in the process. A 3-0 victory at Stamford Bridge last term is their only significant win on the road.
Their inability to stem the tide at the back is a bigger overall concern. They’ve kept just eight clean sheets in 43 Premier League away matches and have conceded a top-half high of 44 goals this term.
Liverpool at Anfield
Liverpool, by contrast, are as consistent as they come at Anfield. Their 1-1 draw with Leicester last week is the first time they’ve dropped points at home since early-October.
It’s also worth remembering you need to be strong and resolute to take points from Merseyside in the league. Five of the last 10 sides to do so have shut out the hosts in the process.
Our aforementioned look at Bournemouth’s defence suggests that won’t quite be possible on Saturday, especially with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in good form at home.
Cherries have already been picked
You might think we’re going in hard on the Cherries. The reality is all of the above combined with their current injury situation makes them the perfect pick-me-up for Liverpool.
With a full strength side available you might be inclined to give them more of a chance. No David Brooks, Callum Wilson and Lewis Cook will seriously stem their creativity.
Add in the absence of Nathaniel Clyne against his parent-club and Dominic Solanke’s profligacy in the top-flight and it all points towards one thing…a Liverpool revival.
Click here for all our Liverpool v AFC Bournemouth odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing