Liverpool starting lineup to face Bournemouth – predicted

The winter mini-break ends for Liverpool this weekend as the Reds travel south to take on Bournemouth.

Jurgen Klopp's side will have welcomed the chance to rest, recover and re-group following a hectic festive schedule that has seen the injuries continue to pile up. However, they will also be keen to get straight back into it with Manchester City closing the gap at the top following their comeback win over Newcastle.

The Reds still have a two-point advantage in the league table, but know they will need a second half of the season at least as good as the first in order to keep the defending champions from the door.

That starts at Bournemouth, whose seven-match unbeaten run in the Premier League was ended with a 3-1 defeat by Spurs on New Year's Eve.

The Cherries, under Andoni Iraola, are still a very decent side though and have former Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke – the Premier League's top scoring Englishman this season – banging in the goals up top.

Liverpool are looking to make it three wins from three against Bournemouth this season, but were pushed hard in both the 3-1 league victory back in August and 2-1 Carabao Cup triumph in November.

Here's how Klopp could line his team up for the trip to the Vitality Stadium on Sunday.


Goalkeeper & Defence

Dominik Szoboszlai and Joe Gomez, ProShots

Refreshed and ready to go again after the mini-break, Joe Gomez is likely to start again at left back in the absence of Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas, who are nearing returns to team training.

Gomez – fast becoming an unexpected hero this season – will have been particularly grateful for the 11-day rest, having played the full 90s in the Reds' previous four. Owen Beck is likely to be his deputy on the bench.

Captain Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate should be the men in the middle of Klopp's backline, barring any injury concerns this week, while 20-year-old Conor Bradley is poised for his first ever Premier League start with Trent Alexander-Arnold sidelined.

Alisson Becker will return in goal, having sat out the Carabao Cup semi final for Caoimhin Kelleher.

Midfield

Curtis Jones - Propaganda

Curtis Jones - Propaganda

With Wataru Endo, Dominik Szoboszlai, Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago all unavailable, Klopp's options in the middle are as limited the ones in defence.

Alexis Mac Allister will almost certainly be the deepest-lying midfielder. The Argentine was sent off on his home debut in the reverse fixture back in August, though the suspension was later overturned.

The in-form Curtis Jones should continue on the left side of the three, while the right-hand berth will be occupied by either Harvey Elliott or Ryan Gravenberch. The latter's recent sub-par form may mean it is the Englishman who gets the start.

Expect to see at least one of Bobby Clark or James McConnell on the bench at the Vitality Stadium.

Attack

Darwin Nunez goal - Propaganda

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 1, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez scores the first goal during the Football League Cup 4th Round match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at Dean Court. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Darwin Nuñez scored a screamer the last time the Reds travelled to face Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup back in November. The Uruguayan has just one Premier League goal in his last ten outings, but remains a menace for opposition defences all the same.

He has three assists in his last three in all competitions.

The need for Elliott in a deeper role may open up the possibility for one of Diogo Jota or Luis Diaz to play in Mohamed Salah's right wing slot. The versatility of both players means the other can feature on the left.

Cody Gakpo has looked impressive in fits and starts lately, registering four goal contributions in his last six, but the Dutchman may have to make do with another contribution from the bench.

Predicted starting XI to face Bournemouth:

(4-3-3): Alisson; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Elliott, Mac Allister, Jones; Jota, Nuñez, Diaz

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