Premier League: Liverpool Pick off the Cherries…Over to You, City!

Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth

Liverpool went back to the top of the Premier League today with a convincing win over travel-sick Bournemouth in front of a packed and delighted Anfield crowd.

With talk of pressure hampering the Reds’ progress, this was just what Jurgen Klopp needed to get his team back on track after two draws had handed the lead at the top over to Manchester City. It was Liverpool back at their best attacking with scintillating speed; a clean sheet with a depleted defence will have pleased the Liverpool boss no end.

Sadio Mane opened the scoring, and Mo Salah finished off the visitors after a brilliant Georgino Wijnaldum chip. Bournemouth are on a terrible run away from home, but take nothing away from Liverpool as this was a big win and fully deserved.

Highlights of the game

The nerves in the home end could have been shredded a little more in the first couple of minutes: Ryan Fraser almost put the Cherries ahead with a curling effort, but Alisson got a strong hand to the ball. Bournemouth fear no one, having recently thumped Chelsea 4-0, and this was an early warning for the Reds.

The Anfield crowd began to get restless but breathed a sigh of relief on 24 minutes when Sadio Mane met a James Milner cross and headed firmly into the Bournemouth net. The Reds relaxed immediately and were in the mood now, almost making it two, minutes later if Salah didn’t fluff his shot from 12 yards.

Sadio Mane scored in 4 successive Premier League matches during his time in England for the first time

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praises Sadio Mane following his goal

But ten minutes after the first came the second goal, and the crowd erupted. It was a beautiful finish from Georginio Wijnaldum who controlled a lofted ball before lobbing it over Artur Boruc and into the corner of the net.

Bournemouth’s Adam Smith had a good shout for a penalty just before the break when he fell under a challenge from Andy Robertson. But the referee was unimpressed, booking Smith as he retaliated. And that was the last real chance for the Cherries to get a result.

The game was over minutes after half-time after a lovely move from Liverpool, ending with a delightful flick from Roberto Firmino to tee up Mo Salah. The Egyptian curled the ball into the far corner to make it 3-0.

Liverpool seemed satisfied with that, and Bournemouth looked incapable of finding any way back into the game as the crowd relaxed into the afternoon. And it should have been four after a lightning Liverpool attack. Mo Salah crossed for Naby Keita. He really should have scored his first goal for Liverpool, but he blasted it high into the stands.

The home crowd was in a celebratory mood when they had another treat: Trent Alexander-Arnold came on after three weeks out injured. He almost capped his appearance with a goal, but Boruc did well to keep him out. No matter; this was a good day at the office for the Reds who went three points clear at the top.

Key statistics

All Liverpool eyes will be on the Etihad tomorrow to see whether Manchester City can return to the top with a win over Chelsea.  The Premier League 2019 betting odds point to a race to the end. The Sky Blues look to have a very slight edge at the moment, but this comfortable win will do Liverpool a power of good.

The Reds’ main men were on target: Mane’s opener was his fourth goal in consecutive league games, and Salah’s goal was his 49th in 62 Premier League games.

The Cherries have been shocking on the road. This was Bournemouth’s eighth consecutive away defeat. Happily for Eddie Howe, their home form has been outstanding. Meanwhile, Liverpool has the only unbeaten home record and are undefeated in 33 games at Anfield.

And this was Liverpool’s ninth win against Bournemouth in 11 meetings…no surprises, really.

Mohamed Salah is Premier League's top scorer with 17 goals

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal

What’s next?

So while Liverpool fans keep up with the Premier League 2019 updates, the Reds will be preparing for another huge week of football. Klopp comes up against his old Bundesliga foes FC Bayern in the first knockout round of the Champions League.  us odds will give the best range of Asian Handicap Betting options for this game so take a look tomorrow.

And then, it’s away to Manchester United in the big Premier League game of next weekend…mouth-watering.

The Cherries will be pleased to be back at home next week when they entertain the in-form Wolves in what should prove to be an entertaining clash.

 

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Lerma a doubt for Anfield clash

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has revealed that Jefferson Lerma will have a fitness test to see if he can feature in Saturday's game against Liverpool at Anfield.

The Colombia international, who has played in 19 top-flight games this season following his summer transfer from Levante, is struggling with an ankle injury.

He missed last month's impressive 4-0 win against Chelsea and was a second-half substitute at Cardiff City last weekend.

Howe said: "We are waiting on a fitness test for Jefferson. He's had a niggling ankle injury for a few weeks so has been on and off with his training this week. We will wait and see whether he's fit."

Bournemouth have a lengthy injury list to contend with and Callum Wilson and David Brooks look set to be sidelined until March.

Wilson had a knee clean-up operation at the end of last month while Brooks picked up an ankle injury against Chelsea.

"They have pretty similar timescales," Howe said of Brooks and Wilson. "David has been to see a specialist and has had scans so I think around the four-week mark for him.

"Callum had a clean-out in his knee so, again, probably around the same mark but we are not going to be able to get them back earlier than that. They are both big misses for us but I believe we have the squad strength to cover those players."

In addition to Lerma, Wilson and Brooks, long-term injury victims Simon Francis and Lewis Cook remain sidelined with anterior cruciate ligament injuries.

Bournemouth can be backed at 13/1 to earn a shock win at Anfield while they are 4/5 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season.

Premier League Liverpool vs Bournemouth: Can the Reds Stand the Heat?

Liverpool vs Bournemouth

Thirteen games to go and the tension at the top of the Premier League has just gone up a notch.

Liverpool have been in the race all season and occupied the top spot for weeks, but Jurgen Klopp’s side faces a serious challenge from Manchester City and Spurs. It’s vital the Reds get back to winning ways after a run of two draws, and Premier League Liverpool vs Bournemouth is their next chance.

The famous old Anfield ground will have a red-hot atmosphere, and the passionate Liverpool fans will hope for an easy passage against Eddie Howe’s Cherries. But while the Liverpool vs Bournemouth odds point to a comfortable home win, life is never that easy. Like it or not, the pressure has increased as the Reds have just been knocked off the top of the league, for the first time in almost two months, by Manchester City after the Sky Blues won at Everton in midweek.

Talking Points

Liverpool fans won’t like looking at this, but the Premier League table shows that City have made up four points over the last two fixtures to move ahead of the Reds on goal difference. No one expected the champions to lose to Newcastle a couple of weeks ago, but they have responded as league winners do, with ruthless back-to-back victories.

Liverpool legend calls for calm

Meanwhile, Liverpool picked up two points against Leicester City and West Ham and, particularly against the Hammers, it could have been worse. Former Liverpool hero Jamie Carragher has tried to rally his team, saying the Reds must stop worrying and look forward: “It doesn’t matter what anyone says really – whether it’s nerves, poor performance or whatever it may be. What they need to do is win the game against Bournemouth convincingly to put a bit of that talk to bed.”

That will be easier said than done, but the Reds need to make and take more chances than in the last two games if they are to stroll to a win. Sadio Mane has been the man on target while top scorer Mo Salah has cut a frustrated figure at times. And Pool’s defence, marshalled by the colossus Virgil van Dijk, must be on its game to thwart the Cherries’ attacking instinct.

Key injuries for Bournemouth

Bournemouth are poor away from home and Premier League fans expect Liverpool to win this match

Nathan Ake scores a late winner to stun Liverpool back in 2016

Jurgen Klopp has struggled with injuries to his defence, but the last two weeks have been unkind to his opposite number as Eddie Howe looks set to be without two important players. Neither top scorer Callum Wilson nor winger David Brooks trained yesterday, and both are very doubtful. They have scored 16 goals between them, and Brooks has provided four assists so they are a big double loss to the Cherries.

Brooks could be out for three weeks after injuring his ankle while scoring in the recent 4-0 win over Chelsea; he felt the injury during his goal celebration! Defender Simon Francis and midfielder Lewis Cook are also sidelined.

So this is a big game for attacking wide player Ryan Fraser, who has serious pace and an eye for goal, and eight-goal Josh King will provide a constant threat.

Meanwhile, centre-back Nathan Ake will relish the task of keeping Salah and co quiet.

History

Liverpool return home after collecting just a single point on a difficult trip away to West Ham last Monday. That means the Reds have had two wins, two draws and two defeats in the last six in all competitions.

In the last four games, Eddie Howe’s team won two at home and lost two away; they have struggled on the road all season.

Previous Liverpool vs Bournemouth results are reasons to be cheerful for the home fans. In the ten meetings since the Cherries arrived in the Premier League, Liverpool won eight, with one draw and one win for Bournemouth, that being the remarkable 4-3 win back in 2016 when the Reds were leading 1-3 but conceded three goals in the last 14 minutes!

But Liverpool have won the last three clashes, scoring 11 goals and conceding none.

Betting Tip

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Liverpool vs Bournemouth Bournemouth Asian Handicap +2.00 @ 1.95
February 9, 23:00 (GMT+8)

There will be plenty of twists and turns to come in us Premier League 2019, but will there be another one on Saturday in Liverpool? I think it will be another nervy affair as the pressure increases, and the Reds really need to whack the ball back into City’s court.

Liverpool are at 2.01 with that two-goal deficit, but Bournemouth will be a tricky customer. The visitors will be smarting having lost to Cardiff City last week.

They are missing key players, but I expect them to score despite Liverpool coming through eventually.

If they don’t, then it is time to worry.

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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Sarri still eyeing midfield boost

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has admitted that ideally he would like another new signing to bolster his squad before the transfer window slams shut.

The Blues have already drafted in Argentina Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus, with the striker having made his club debut in the 3-0 FA Cup fourth-round win over Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend.

And Sarri has made no secret of his desire to add another midfield option to his Stamford Bridge roster, telling reporters: "You know my opinion, I thought it was important to have two players. One has arrived, I am waiting for another.

"If he arrives I will be very happy, but I won't be too worried. I am happy to play with these players."

Meanwhile, Sarri has also confirmed that the Blues hierarchy are determined to hold on to rising star Callum Hudson-Odoi, with the teenage forward having been strongly linked with a move to Bayern Munich.

The Italian added: "I am not happy with the situation, but every big team has the same problem. It is not easy to keep these young players.

"He is one of the best 18-year-old players in Europe, but the club told me he is out of the market and probably he will be in July.

"I don't know (if he is happy), but on the pitch he is superb."

Hudson-Odoi and Chelsea are back in action on Wednesday evening when they head to Bournemouth, with the visitors 4/6 to win the game and 6/4 to keep a clean sheet – while Hudson-Odoi is 8/5 to score at any time in the game at Dean Court.

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Wilson’s injury concerns Howe

Callum Wilson could miss Bournemouth's Premier League clash against Chelsea but there is better news concerning Dominic Solanke.

Wilson is set to have a late fitness test to see if he can play in Wednesday's game after picking up a knee injury during the closing stages of the Cherries' 2-0 victory over West Ham United.

Solanke, who Eddie Howe signed from Liverpool earlier this month, is making good progress from his hamstring problem and may feature against Maurizio Sarri's team.

Howe said of Wilson: "Callum is going to be a doubt for the game. It's a knee problem but we're going to wait and see. We're going to give him all the time he needs to try to get fit for this game.

"Dominic has done well. He's been back on the grass with us and I've been pleased with his progress. I think I said he would be ready in February when he first signed. We will wait and see whether that's going to be any earlier."

Meanwhile, Howe has confirmed that Tyrone Mings could be set to leave the club before the transfer window shuts on Thursday with Championship sides West Brom and Aston Villa keen to sign the player.

Bournemouth are 17/4 to beat Chelsea on Wednesday and 16/1 to win the match from behind while Wilson is 21/10 to score at any time in the game.

Howe hopes for Wilson boost

Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe is hoping that striker Callum Wilson has not suffered a major injury setback, having only just returned to action.

Wilson scored a superb goal in the 2-0 win at home to West Ham on Saturday, but was forced off 17 minutes from time at Dean Court due to a knee problem, having been sidelined for just over a fortnight by a hamstring issue.

And Howe has been left waiting to find out the extent of the injury, telling reporters after also see Josh King limp off late on against the Irons: "We're going to have to see how they are, but Callum's seems the more serious, limping off which is unlike him.

"We're going to have to see what he's done. It's not the hamstring, it was something in his knee, but I have no idea how serious it is."

Meanwhile, Howe was full of praise for the defensive efforts of his players against the Hammers, with the Cherries keeping a first clean sheet in their last five league games.

He added: "The players have been questioned, but I thought they came through with flying colours. I thought it was really disciplined display full of hard work.

"We've put a lot of hard work into the last few weeks and concentrated on our defending. It goes without saying, after the run that we've been on, that's what we would do and I'm very pleased that the players got their rewards."

Bournemouth are now priced at 6/5 to finish in the top half of the table and 4/6 to end up in the bottom half of the table.

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Howe weighs up Wilson return

Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe will make a late decision on whether to hand striker Callum Wilson a recall for the clash with West Ham on Saturday.

The England international frontman has sat out the last two Cherries games due to a hamstring niggle and Howe is not about to take any chances with one of his most important players.

He told reporters ahead of the Hammers' visit to the South Coast: "He's been on the grass once this week and we will make a very late call on him. You have to be very careful with hamstring injuries."

Wilson has scored nine goals in 20 Premier League appearances so far this season and is 6/5 to score at any time on Saturday, with Bournemouth 11/8 to win the game and 9/1 to do so by a 2-1 scoreline.

Meanwhile, Howe has again attempted to play down talk of interest in Wilson from Chelsea, while confirming that his club have fielded no offers for any of their current squad.

He added: "We've had no interest in any of our players. Everything has just been speculation.

"I don't want to place any more pressure on Callum or any of my players by talking about things that aren't important. What's important is Callum working hard for the team and producing his best performances on a consistent basis.

"For him to be thinking about transfer fees, values and other clubs, I would recommend he focuses on Bournemouth."

Wilson scored a last-minute equaliser when Bournemouth and West Ham played out a 3-3 draw in this fixture last season.

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No Arnautovic movement yet

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has revealed there is still no movement in a proposed exit for striker Marko Arnautovic.

The Austrian's agent last week suggested his brother wanted a move to China, with West Ham reportedly having been offered £35m for a player they acquired for £20m last year from Stoke City.

The Hammers however released a statement suggesting they would not be willing to sell, insisting Arnautovic had a contract they anticipated he would honour.

Ahead of this weekend's trip to Bournemouth, where West Ham are 9/5 to win, Pellegrini has revealed the forward is working well in training.

"He is working with the team without any problem. He has a contract here so we will know what happens with that in the coming days," said the Chilean.

Meanwhile Pellegrini has suggested that former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri has returned to English football with a point to prove.

The 31-year-old ex-French international impressed last weekend on his debut as West Ham overcame Arsenal at the London Stadium.

"He has a lot of quality, in the way he wants to get some revenge in football. His quality, we never had any doubts about him," Pellegrini said.

West Ham are 18/1 to beat Bournemouth 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, while the game is 13/5 to end level.

Last weekend's match-winner Declan Rice continues to impress his boss.

"He is a player that will continue improving, he is just 20-years-old so he has a lot of time to continue growing as a player. I think he can play both positions [centre back and midfield] but I repeat that he is improving every day," added the West Ham boss.

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Howe makes Wilson view clear

Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe says he would not sell star striker Callum Wilson at 'any price', with Chelsea having been linked with the England international.

Wilson has scored nine goals in the Premier League so far this season, with his excellent form seeing him breaking into the international set-up – marking his England debut with a goal in the 3-0 win over the United States in November.

His displays for the Cherries have sparked interest in his services from top-flight rivals Chelsea, but Howe says, for his part, he has no desire at all to allow Wilson to move on just yet.

Howe told reporters: "It's just my opinion, but I wouldn't sell at any price. But I'm the manager of the team, trying to create the best team I can.

"We desperately want to take the team forward and, to do that, we have to keep our best players.

"He's a very important member of the team. He has unique attributes which really complement what we do and we value him very highly.

"I've been told about the speculation – it's not something which I seek to read. It's business as normal, Callum has been bright and bubbly this week, so there are no problems there."

Bournemouth and Wilson are back in action on Sunday, when they head to Goodison Park to take on Everton, having lost all three of their previous Premier League visits to the Toffees.

The Cherries are 29/10 to gain a draw on Sunday, with Wilson 15/8 to score at any time in the game, while David Brooks can be backed at 15/4.

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Wilson would improve Chelsea

Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson would make Chelsea a better side, should they secure his signature, according to Dion Dublin.

The 26-year-old Cherries forward has scored nine league goals this season and has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window.

Dublin says he's a tougher prospect when compared to the likes of Alvaro Morata, but the pundit has warned Chelsea they'll have to pay a hefty fee in order to see Eddie Howe release the frontman.

Morata has struggled under new boss Maurizio Sarri this season, scoring just five times in the Premier League and has been linked with a return to his native Spain.

Frenchman Olivier Giroud has been vying with Morata for game-time and, so far, Sarri has been unable to find a line-up that pleases him – resulting in Eden Hazard being deployed further forward than had normally been the case.

Wilson, who earned his England debut last year, would improve Chelsea's fortunes if they can attract him to west London, according to former Aston Villa and Manchester United forward Dublin.

"Wilson has all the attributes to make them a better side going forward, he is a more out-and-out forward than what they have at present," he told BBC Sport.

"Morata seems to have a soft underbelly, he likes a tap-in but does not really like to go through the pain barrier to score goals.

"I do like Giroud, he is a very good centre-forward. He does not get the number that people expect but as a centre-forward, and as a team player, I have a lot of admiration for him."

Wilson is 50/1 to finish as the Premier League's leading goalscorer this season, while Harry Kane is 9/4 having scored 14 goals so far and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero is 7/1, with 10 to his name already.

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