Nuno heaps praises on players

Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo heaped praise on his players after his team made it three Premier League wins in a row with a 2-0 victory at home to Bournemouth.

Prior to their upturn, the men from Molineux had gone six games without a win, but they have turned things around nicely to rise up to seventh place in the table and potentially in the hunt for a European place.

And Nuno was quick to point how well his squad have stuck to their task and kept faith with the methods of the Wolves coaching staff.

The Portuguese said after a well-deserved victory: "I truly believe that you have to take things as they come and keep on going and keep on believing in the daily work – the way you want to do things, how you play.

"They were difficult moments (during the winless run) but we kept on believing. Sometimes those moments make you think more and find a better solution. Even bad moments can make you stronger.

"We are in a good moment, before we were in a bad moment and it is important to recognise why.

"The boys' character, the way they commit to the work on a daily basis, well done to them."

Next up for Wolves is a tough task at home to high-flying Liverpool on Friday evening, with the hosts 10/3 to gain a draw and 3/10 to go on and secure a finish in the top half of the Premier League table come the end of the season.

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Howe hopeful of Wilson return

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is upbeat about the prospect of striker Callum Wilson overcoming a hamstring problem to feature against Wolves at Molineux.

Wilson missed the 4-0 home defeat to Liverpool due to injury, but Howe seems quietly confident that the 26-year-old, who recently marked his England debut with a goal in a 3-0 win over the United States, will be able to play a part on Saturday.

He told reporters: "Callum Wilson has recovered well, so we're hopeful he'll be okay.

"You need your best players fit and available and physically he's been good, as this is the first problem he's had. We're going to be careful with the problem and wait and see."

Wilson has scored eight times in 15 appearances in the Premier League this season to help the Cherries stand in eighth place in the standings heading into the weekend action.

Howe also confirmed at his pre-match press conference that Dan Gosling is facing a spell on the sidelines after undergoing a knee operation, although he believes that the midfielder is not facing a lengthy absence.

Meanwhile, the last three meetings between Bournemouth and Wolves have ended in 2-1 final scorelines, with the Cherries winning on both of their last two visits to the Black Country.

The visitors are 10/3 to triumph by a 2-1 margin on Saturday, with the draw priced at 13/5, while Wilson is available at 15/8 to score at any time at Molineux.

Wolves go into the game having won their last two league games, against Chelsea and Newcastle United, both by 2-1 scorelines.

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Nuno proud of improving Wolves

Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo was proud of his side after they made it two consecutive wins in the Premier League, but was still left wanting more.

The visitors needed a last-gasp Matt Doherty strike to secure a 2-1 win at Newcastle united on Sunday, with the men from Molineux able to back up a 2-1 midweek home victory over Chelsea with another three-point return.

However, while being content with the way his players had stuck to their task against a Magpies side reduced to ten men early in the second half, the Portuguese remains focused on finding improvements which will help in the coming months.

He told reporters: "We must be proud because one thing we didn't abandon was that we stayed with the game. We stayed with our attacks, we stayed compact, we stayed organised like a team.

"We win, but the win cannot disguise things we must improve. No matter who we play, we always must maintain our standards, but we are improving, we are managing (games) better and we stayed with our tasks.

"Back-to-back wins is very difficult to achieve in such a hard competition like the Premier League, but we did it.

"After something so good like we achieved on Wednesday you can get distracted, but we didn't, so I'm very proud."

Wolves will hope to make it three league wins in a row next Saturday when they play host to Bournemouth, with the visitors having lost five of their last six games.

The hosts are 1/1 to win the game at Molineux, with a draw priced at 23/10, while Wolves can be backed at 4/9 to secure a finish in the top half of the Premier League table come the end of the season.

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Premier League: Magical Mo Fires Liverpool to the Top!

Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool climbed to the top of the Premier League table with a big win over Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

It may not be for long, but a hat-trick from Mo Salah sent the Reds on their way to the summit in a scintillating display of attacking football.

This is a good result for the impartial us Premier League fan as it means the race for the title is by no means a foregone conclusion. Premier League 2018 betting odds still back Manchester City to retain the trophy, but Liverpool sit proudly at the top for now.

Highlights of the game

In an interview after their Premier League game, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe think Liverpool's first goal was offside

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe applauds the fans at the end of the match

Klopp rotated his side again, and the versatile James Milner took the right wing-back role in place of Joe Gomez, who suffered a fractured leg in the Reds’ hard-fought win at Burnley in midweek. The Liverpool boss was alarmed by the strength of the Clarets’ tackling during that bruising 90 minutes and has been embroiled in a war of words with Sean Dyche.

And Klopp’s words seemed to have paid off. Liverpool had the better of the opening exchanges, but Bournemouth fans were frustrated that referee Lee Mason booked two of their players for robust tackles while he was happy to accept similar challenges from Roberto Firmino and Milner. That seemed to prick the Cherries to force a smart save from Alisson: Josh King found David Brooks with a neat pass, and the winger’s shot was saved low to the keeper’s right.

But the Reds continued to dominate the ball, and they struck first. When the goal came, it was accompanied by a healthy dose of controversy. Asmir Begovic failed to hold on to a speculative shot from Firmino, and Mo Salah was first on hand to fire the ball home. However, he did arrive from a marginally offside position. It was Salah’s fourth goal in six outings, and despite the element of luck, it gave the Reds a deserved lead to take into the break.

Bournemouth had a mountain to climb against a team ready to take over at the top of the league, and it looked even more imposing just three minutes into the second half when Salah doubled the lead and his own account. Firmino intercepted a poor pass from Steve Cook and laid the ball forward to the Egyptian assassin, who ran at Nathan Ake before firing low into the bottom-left corner.

It was game well and truly over, on 68 minutes, when Andy Robertson raided down the left and put a dangerous low cross in, which the hapless Cook diverted past Begovic with what appeared to be a deft backheel! And it got even worse for poor Cook when he was outpaced by Salah before the red-hot striker rounded the keeper and poked his third home.

Key statistics

So Liverpool are at least top of the league for a few hours, having equalled their longest unbeaten run in the Premier League of 17 games. This includes the last game of last season.

Forty-two points from 16 matches are the Reds’ best ever start to a top-flight season, and keeper Alisson is unbeaten in his opening 16 Premier League games for Liverpool which is a club record.

Bournemouth had suffered four straight defeats until their narrow win against Huddersfield in midweek. After this thumping, Howe will be pleased his side made such a fast start to the campaign. They are still in a handy position with 23 points from 16 games.

The hosts have still only beaten Liverpool once in 14 attempts, and they never really came close today. Had the linesman flagged the first goal offside, it may have been a closer game, but the Reds’ win was ultimately resounding.

What’s next?

Alisson is the goalkeeper with most clean sheets in the Premier League(10) this season

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe shakes hands with Liverpool’s Alisson at the end of the match

After a great start to the season, the Cherries are on a tricky run with five defeats in six. And they don’t have an easy ride next week when they visit Premier League new boys Wolves.

On their long journey home, the Liverpool fans could look forward to keeping up with the afternoon’s Premier League 2018 updates, with a close eye on Manchester City’s massive game away to Chelsea.

Then it’s back to business as Liverpool have a vital Champions League fixture to play on Tuesday against Napoli. After three away defeats in the competition, they now have to beat Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli to progress; that will be one tough nut to crack.

But just for now, the Reds are in ecstasy.

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Salah sends Reds top

Mohamed Salah helped himself to a hat-trick as Liverpool swept Bournemouth aside 4-0 at the Vitality Stadium to go top of the Premier League.

The Reds leapfrogged Manchester City, at least until after the champions stare down Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.

It was the end of a hugely satisfying week for Jurgen Klopp and his team.

They gained a late, fortuitous Merseyside derby win over Everton at Anfield on Sunday when Divock Origi scored after an error from Jordan Pickford, then came from behind to defeat Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor in midweek.

The win over Bournemouth made it an impressive nine points from nine in less than six days.

Liverpool's opener was a fortunate moment, with Salah in an offside position when Roberto Firmino hit a 30-yard shot that goalkeeper Asmir Begovic could push out in the direction of the Egyptian forward to put his side ahead on 25 minutes.

Salah supplied an ice-cool finish for his second goal shortly after half-time before Steve Cook turned into his own net. Salah then completed his hat-trick after rounding Begovic with 12 minutes left.

Klopp's side are one point clear of City after winning five times on the spin in the league, though Pep Guardiola's team will return to the summit should they avoid defeat at Chelsea.

Man City are 21/20 to win in west London, with the Blues priced at 11/4 and the draw at Stamford Bridge 27/10.

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Mane a doubt for Cherries clash

Jurgen Klopp has admitted that Senegal international Sadio Mane could be forced to sit out Liverpool's Premier League clash with Bournemouth.

Mane missed the 3-1 victory at Burnley because of a foot injury and Klopp has also revealed that Dejan Lovren as well as Joe Gomez will miss the trip to the south coast.

Gomez faces a spell on the sidelines after picking up an ankle injury at Turf Moor while Croatia international Lovren is suffering from concussion.

However, there is some good news for the Reds boss as Andy Robertson and Georginio Wijnaldum are available again.

"Sadio is now out [at Melwood] and tries to run [for the] first time," said Klopp. "That doesn't sound like he will be ready for Saturday.

"Gini [Wijnaldum] is nothing – he did his own programme [this week] and is fine. Robbo has played pretty much all of the games this season in a very intense position. That's why we decided to give him eight hours off. That was actually the only reason why he was not in Burnley. He is fine.

"No, Lovren will not be available. He got a knock last week and got a concussion. He is still not able to play."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rhian Brewster, Nathaniel Clyne and Dominic Solanke will all miss the Bournemouth game which Liverpool are 3/5 to win. Klopp's side are 8/1 to triumph 2-0.

Premier League Preview: A Clash of Style on The South Coast

Bournemouth vs Liverpool

You don’t need Premier League 2018 betting odds to tell you that these two clubs have something to smile about.

You don’t need to be a Premier League whizz to realise that they also have two fine managers who are making their mark, albeit with differing resources.

Both are success stories and delivering football which makes us fans smile.

Now as they meet on the south coast, could we be in for another round of Premier League 2018 highlights?

Talking Points

Liverpool’s last-gasp Merseyside derby success last weekend, followed up by a comeback success at Burnley, kept them within touching distance of leaders Manchester City at the top.

Bournemouth had suffered four straight defeats until a 2-1 win over Huddersfield in midweek, a result that briefly lifted them up into sixth place.

Bournemouth aim to get back-to-back Premier League wins when they face Liverpool

Callum Wilson celebrates with Joshua King after scoring their first goal of the match

Yet, that has largely gone unnoticed because Eddie Howe’s men have given genuine tests to Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City in a difficult run of fixtures.

In fact, they were very unfortunate to lose to both United and Arsenal at home and, on their day, can be a match for most.

Howe says he is already relishing a busy set of festive fixtures with games against Wolves, Brighton, Tottenham and the rematch with United. Not to mention a League Cup quarter-final with Chelsea, all to come before December is out.

The 41-year-old manager not only encourages players, but improves them and insists his side plays good football, no matter the opposition – something that has come back to haunt them against bigger clubs despite having a fraction of the resources.

There has indeed been much praise for Howe, who is the longest-serving manager in the top flight and the third most enduring across four divisions. Only Jim Bentley at Morecambe and Gareth Ainsworth of Wycombe have outlasted Howe’s six years on the south coast.

Klopp is also a firm favourite with many of the media and he has done a good job, obviously on a much bigger budget.

Liverpool look genuine title contenders and have the best squad they have possessed for at least a decade.

Being unbeaten in the Premier League going into this fixture is a fine achievement, and Klopp’s desire to spend big has been matched by his desire to spend wisely – which is a justification of their second place in the table.

The front three of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have received light criticism for failing to hit the heights of last season shows why some fans are never satisfied. They remain a deadly trio, two of which are in the Premier League leading scorers’ chart as we fast approach the halfway point of the campaign.

It is, in defence, where many of the plaudits are being focused this time.

The big money signings of Alisson and Virgil van Dijk are proving money well spent as Liverpool have only conceded six goals in 15 games – the second-best record in history at this stage of a top-flight season (Chelsea let in four in 2008-09).

In theory, Klopp’s high-flying visitors should win this with something to spare but Bournemouth can’t be written off. The Howe factor has seen to that.

History

These sides have only met 13 times in their history – and nine of those have been since 2014.

But while Liverpool have a dominant record, the Cherries have had a few moments to savour.

Not least two seasons ago when they won one of the games of the season fighting back from 3-1 down with a quarter of an hour remaining to win a seven-goal thriller.

They followed that up four months later with a 2-2 draw at Anfield when Josh King scored a late equaliser.

Expectations were restored last season when Liverpool put seven past Bournemouth without reply, winning 4-0 at the Vitality Stadium before a 3-0 triumph at Anfield.

That 4-3 success two years ago remains Bournemouth’s only ever victory against the red half of Merseyside.

Betting Tip

Not surprisingly, Liverpool are red-hot favourites.

??
Bournemouth vs Liverpool Total Goal 4-6 @ 2.78
December 08, 20:30 (GMT+8)

With 1X2 you can get odds on the visitors @ 1.63, while the hosts are priced at a distant 5.00. Even the draw is offered @ 3.95.

Asian Handicap offers reflect that with the Cherries +0.75 @ 2.17 and Liverpool -0.75 @ 1.78.

The Double Chance Bournemouth or draw will pay @ 2.19, and a repeat of last season’s 0-4 romp is @ 29.00.

If you fancy goals, as I do, over 3.00 goals will give you odds @ 2.01.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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Wagner patient in goals search

Huddersfield boss David Wagner says he will remain patient with his players while admitting they need to score more goals.

The Terriers have lost their last two Premier League games, at home to Brighton and away to Bournemouth leaving them just a point above the bottom three.

Hampering them in their bid to escape from relegation trouble is their worrying lack of goals, they have scored just 10 in 15 league games, the worst in the league.

As they look for their first points of December, away at Arsenal on Saturday, Wagner says he is staying patient.

He told a press conference: "I will be [patient], in the future as well. They are aware, as we all are, that we need goals from our strikers. This is the truth over the season and they have some further games to go to produce these goals.

"They have their chances, they create their chances sometimes for themselves, and now it's all about putting the ball in the net.

"So I still will be patient, I think anything else makes no sense even if we all know we need more goals from our strikers as we need goals from the other positions as well."

Huddersfield are 10/1 to win at the Emirates Stadium with the Gunners 1/4 and the draw 19/4.

Wagner also told the press conference that, though the January transfer window is fast approaching, it wasn't in his thoughts and he was focused on the players already at his disposal.

Huddersfield last beat Arsenal in 1971 and the last time they beat them in London was back in 1954.

The Terriers are 4/7 to be relegated while they are 100/1 to recover and finish in the top half of the Premier League.

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Cook out for the season

Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook has been ruled out for the rest of the season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.

The 21-year-old suffered the injury during his side's victory over Huddersfield in midweek and the extent of it was revealed by Cherries boss Eddie Howe who said that Cook would be out of action for between six and nine months.

Howe told the club's official website: "It is a huge blow to a very talented player who has been a very important part of our side over the last 18 months.

"But Lewis is a strong character who only has to look around our dressing room for inspiration of how an injury like this is merely a setback and to know that he can come back better than ever.

"He will have the full support and love of everyone at the club throughout the next few months as he receives the very best treatment and rehabilitation possible."

Cook has made 56 appearances for Bournemouth since joining the club from Leeds United in 2016.

His form with the Cherries had led to international recognition. He was captain as England won the Under-20 World Cup in 2017 and was called up to the senior squad by Gareth Southgate, winning his first cap in a friendly against Italy in March.

His injury is a severe blow to the Cherries who have enjoyed such a good start to the season; that win over Huddersfield taking them onto 23 points from 15 games and they are seventh in the table, above Manchester United.

They play Liverpool at home on Saturday and are 9/2 to inflict a first defeat of the season on Jurgen Klopp's side. Liverpool are 4/7 with the draw 16/5.

Bournemouth are 8/15 to finish in the top half of the Premier League while they are 14/1 to make the top six.

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Gomez injury a concern for Klopp

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp is fearful that defender Joe Gomez suffered a serious ankle injury during the 3-1 victory at Burnley on Wednesday evening.

England international Gomez had to be replaced after 23 minutes of the Turf Moor clash, having been involved in two tough challenges, with the 21-year-old having to be stretchered from the pitch.

And Klopp is concerned that his player could be facing a significant amount of time out of action, with Gomez having stared 12 of the Reds' 15 Premier League games played so far this season.

He told reporters: "It was his ankle. Joe is injured and probably not only a little bit. We have to see, we don't know in the moment."

Meanwhile, Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has told his team-mates to remain focused on the job in hand and not be too concerned about table-topping Manchester City, who are currently two points ahead of the Merseysiders.

He added on the club's official website: "We are not really interested in City, to be honest, because there is a long way to go. We know how good they are, we expect them to win.

"We just expect ourselves to win games and perform to the level that we have been and, if we do that, we can keep winning.

"But we just focus on game by game and it doesn't really matter about anybody else."

Liverpool are currently priced at 4/1 to win the Premier League title this season, with the Citizens available at 1/5.

The Reds are back in action on Saturday when they face a tricky trip to Bournemouth, who are currently in seventh place in the standings.

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