Saturday, October 1, 2022

Prediction: Liverpool vs Bournemouth

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 26 Aug 2022


Verdict: Total goals under 3.5

Best odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: 888sport

Liverpool are set to welcome Bournemouth, freshly returned to the Premier League, to Anfield on Saturday afternoon, in what will be a match within the fourth round of the 2022/23 season in the English top flight.


Things haven’t exactly gone to plan since the start of the season for Liverpool. They’re yet to feel the joy of winning, and not many would’ve expected that given that their first three opponents were Fulham, Crystal Palace and a severely shaken Manchester United.

Nonetheless, they drew 2-2 at Craven Cottage and 1-1 against Palace at Anfield, losing Darwin Nunez to a red card in that match, and finally lost what’s frequently seen as the biggest game in English football 2-1 at Old Trafford. They started that evening on the back foot and it took just over 15 minutes for Jadon Sancho to deal the first blow, and even though the Merseysiders appeared later to be taking control, Marcus Rashford struck on the counterattack in the 53rd minute, and Mohamed Salah was only able to provide late consolation with a quick reaction nine minutes from time.

All in all, Liverpool have two points on the board so far, and not many see them capable of challenging defending champions Manchester City again, despite the facts that they finished just one point behind in 2021/22 and deservedly beat Pep Guardiola’s team in the Community Shield.

While many point to the midfield section being thin as the root of the problem for Jurgen Klopp, there’s no escaping the fact that there are plenty of players in the Liverpool squad competing for the three positions in the middle of the park. On the other hand, injuries have shattered the options at the disposal of the German tactician, which poses a dilemma – resort to emergency signings, or wait patiently for the injured to start coming back?

Team News

Speaking of his midfield options and injuries, Klopp cannot all upon Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones or Naby Keita. It leaves him with Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Harvey Elliott to choose from. Fabio Carvalho, though mostly perceived as an alternative on the left wing, could also come into the frame.

At the back, there isn’t really any other option but starting Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez in the heart of defence, though neither exactly covered himself in glory at Old Trafford. Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate are injured, as is Calvin Ramsay, which leaves Trent Alexander-Arnold as the only choice on the right side of defence. Kostas Tsimikas, however, could challenge Andy Robertson on the left.

Diogo Jota is injured too, and with Nunez suspended, it’s likely that Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino will form the attacking line.

All this is presuming Klopp doesn’t resort to a change of system for this game, which, quite frankly, wouldn’t come as a big surprise at this point.


It took the Cherries two years to return to the English elite. Last season, they finished second to Fulham in the Championship and thus secured a direct spot in the Premier League, avoiding the play-offs.

But as it often happens, they’ve found the leap between the two tiers quite formidable upon arrival, and even though they started with a big triumph over Aston Villa and there’s no real shame in losing 4-0 away to Manchester City or 0-3 at home to Arsenal, there are those who see Bournemouth as the weakest team in the Premier League. It’s now up to Scott Parker and his men to disprove such claims, or they’ll find themselves back in the Championship quite quickly. But for the time being, they’re positioned above Liverpool in the table.

The morale of the team will have received a boos after the win over Norwich City on penalties in the second round of the Carabao Cup, and they’ll face Everton in November in the third.

But back to the league, the Cherries didn’t stand much chance of doing anything of note last week when Arsenal came to the Vitality, and Martin Odegaard dispelled every hope of the home supporters by striking twice within 11 minutes from the kickoff, before William Saliba added the third in the second half.

Team News

Parker won’t be able to count on midfielder David Brooks, who has struggled with cancer and hasn’t played since September last year. It’ll likely still be more than a month before we see the 25-year-old back on a football pitch. Midfielder Joe Rothwell has been ruled out through a thigh problem.

Former Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke could be back in time from an ankle issue, but it’s far from guaranteed at this point. The same goes for fullback Ryan Fredericks (calf) and veteran winger Junior Stanislas (groin).

Parker has been employing a three-at-the-back system, with mostly Jefferson Lerma directly ahead of that line, Jordan Zemura and Marcus Tavernier in box-to-box roles, Adam Smith and Ben Pearson on the flanks, and Philip Billing playing next to Kieffer Moore in attack.


Given the recent form of the Merseysiders, Bournemouth will likely see this as the best moment imaginable to come to Anfield and try to get a result. It can’t really be ruled out, but one would expect Liverpool to snap out from the stupor and if they come anywhere near their usual levels, the visitors simply won’t stand a chance.

Nonetheless, it’ll be a tough task for Liverpool, and there shouldn’t be many goals in it.

Verdict: Total goals under 3.5

Best odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: 888sport


Veselin Trajkovic

Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.



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