Will Liverpool Bounce Back After Their Watford Loss Last Week?
Last weekend proved to be a landmark one in the Premier League as runaway leaders Liverpool saw their 27-game unbeaten run in the competition this season come to an end at Watford, with the Hornets producing a stellar performance to beat a well below par Liverpool 3-0. Injuries to key men, partnered with too many players off form and a miserable team performance combined for the Reds as Watford were good value for the win.
The win for the Hornets mean Arsenal remain the only unbeaten team in a Premier League season, but it is also a warning for Liverpool that should their performances drop even just a little, then teams are more than willing and able to inflict a defeat on them. Jurgen Klopp’s men will want to respond to that quickly, first against Chelsea in the FA Cup in midweek and then at home to Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday.
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Let’s now preview Liverpool’s clash with Bournemouth in a bit more detail by examining the fine print of their incredible run, as well as then taking a look at some of the bets that look to be the best value options ahead of the game at Anfield on Saturday lunchtime.
Liverpool’s Record Run
Liverpool’s defeat at Watford saw the Reds lose for the first time in the Premier League in their 28th game of the season. Going back into last season, it was the 45th game they had played in the Premier League without defeat, after they were last beaten 2-1 by Manchester City at the Etihad back in January 2019.
Despite that loss, Liverpool just need four more wins from their remaining 10 games of the season to be confirmed Champions, and that number would drop should Manchester City lose any more games over that period. Indeed, if City were to lose two of their last 11 games, then Liverpool would require just six more points to claim the title. City and Liverpool clash at the Etihad in early April.
However, Liverpool still have plenty to aim for. They can still beat Manchester City’s top points record for a season of 100, the number of home wins in a season and they are also unbeaten at Anfield since April 2017, playing 54 games in that spell, winning 44 of them and drawing 10. They have won all of their games played at home in the Premier League this season and they remain 22 points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
Eddie Howe will have felt Liverpool’s loss last weekend just as keenly as Reds fans as that result saw Watford move out of the bottom three and Bournemouth drop into it, despite earning a draw last weekend with Chelsea. The Cherries worse goal difference of -17 being the reason that they and not Watford or West Ham are in the drop zone.
When the teams met earlier in the season, Liverpool were comfortable 3-0 winners on the road on the south coast, goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Mo Salah handing the Reds a comfortable victory.
However, the Reds are missing the guile and power of Jordan Henderson in midfield and as their performances against Watford and Atletico Madrid have showed, they can be beaten and Bournemouth fans will be clinging to the hope that they can reproduce another fine away display and inflict another defeat on the Reds at fortress Anfield.
Liverpool v Bournemouth
Liverpool will still be without Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita for this game and barring any further injuries in the Chelsea game, they should otherwise be able to call upon their first choice central defensive pairing of Gomez and van Dijk. The issue seems to be in midfield for the Reds with James Milner likely to be offered the role to replace the England man.
Bournemouth are still without long term absentees David Brooks, Charlie Daniels and Lloyd Kelly, but other than that should have a relatively fit first team squad to pick from for the game. Harry Wilson though is unable to play against his parent club.
Liverpool – 4-3-3 – Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, van Dijk, Gomes, Milner, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Mane, Firmino.
Bournemouth – 4-3-3 – Ramsdale, Stacey, Smith, Ake, Cook.S, Lerma, Billing, Cook.L, Fraser, King, Wilson.C
Head to Head Record
The two teams have met 16 times in total with Bournemouth winning just one of those games, three matches have been drawn with 12 wins to Liverpool. The Reds have won all of the last five matches between the two teams, winning three of those games 3-0 and the other two 4-0. Bournemouth last scored a goal away at Anfield in April 2016 (in a 2-1 defeat).
There’s nothing in the stats to suggest that Bournemouth can get a result at Anfield and with Liverpool seeking to bounce back after two defeats in their last three games (prior to their midweek game away to Chelsea) this looks like being a very tough ask for the Cherries. Liverpool won’t want to delay winning the league and after dropping points at Watford, I am backing them to pick up three points here at 2/9 in a home win.
Bournemouth don’t score many against Liverpool and the Reds tend to be tight at Anfield, although defensively they have looked a little lacklustre of late. That said, even if Bournemouth score, I’d expect Liverpool to win, so back Liverpool to win and both teams to score at 7/4 with bet365 Sport.
Liverpool need a goal to settle themselves down and I can see them putting Bournemouth under lots of pressure. As such, I think a penalty may well be on the cards here and if they get one, James Milner will likely take it. At 5/2 I’d back the midfielder to be an anytime goalscorer in this game.