Bournemouth host Liverpool in the Premier League this weekend hoping that it surely can’t be as bad as the last time they met Jürgen Klopp’s side in the competition. We preview the game with the key stats and the Opta prediction.
The Quick Hits
- Liverpool are overwhelming favourites for this match with the Opta supercomputer, with a 67.2% chance of defeating Bournemouth.
- The Reds need to score three goals to equal the Premier League record for most goals against a single opponent in a season.
- Bournemouth currently the favourites to be relegated with the Opta supercomputer and need a shock result in this game.
Bournemouth vs Liverpool Match Preview
Bournemouth really need a win in their fight to avoid relegation back to the Championship, but they’ll have to achieve what they’ve only done once before in 11 attempts across their Premier League history – beat Liverpool.
That single victory was pretty special however, coming from 3-1 down with 15 minutes remaining to defeat Liverpool 4-3 at the Vitality Stadium in December 2016.
After losing the away game against Liverpool by a ridiculous 9-0 scoreline in August, Bournemouth will be hoping to keep the score down this time. Should they concede three goals or more on Saturday, it’ll mean Liverpool will set a new top-flight club record of 12+ goals against a single opponent within a season.
The Premier League record for goals conceded by one team against a single opponent in Premier League history is 12. That record is currently shared by four clubs: Nottingham Forest vs. Blackburn (1995-96), Wigan vs. Spurs (2009-10), Watford vs. Man City (2019-20) and Southampton vs. Man Utd (2020-21). That’s another record that could easily be broken this weekend, considering Liverpool’s form in front of goal. One hope for Bournemouth is that Liverpool’s away record at clubs promoted from the Championship last season hasn’t been great in 2022-23 so far. After drawing 2-2 in their opening match of the season at Fulham, they lost 1-0 to Nottingham Forest – only in 2010-11 (L3) and 2003-04 (D2 L1) have they failed to win away against any of the three promoted clubs in a single Premier League campaign.
Liverpool 9-0 Bournemouth: 27 August 2022 (Premier League)
When these two sides last met on 27 August, Liverpool arrived into the game with a winless start to the 2022-23 campaign after draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace, followed by a defeat to Manchester United. They certainly made up for that poor start with a 9-0 win at Anfield, equalling the Premier League’s biggest win.
Liverpool scored nine goals in a single top-flight game for the first time since September 1989 versus Crystal Palace (9-0). In fact, this win was their joint-biggest margin of victory in their league history after that 9-0 against Crystal Palace in 1989 and a 10-1 win over Rotherham Town in 1896.
The signs were ominous for Bournemouth after the opening 45 minutes as it was 5-0 at half time, meaning the Reds had scored five goals in a single half of top flight league football for the first time since October 1927 against Portsmouth. They went on to add four more in the second half at Anfield.
With Scott Parker becoming the first Premier League manager to see his team concede nine goals whilst wearing a cardigan, Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino had a fun-filled afternoon. The Brazilian scored two goals and assisted another three in the rout, making him just the third Liverpool player to have a hand in five Premier League goals in a single match, after Mohamed Salah against Watford in March 2018 and Luis Suárez versus Norwich in December 2013.
Further good news for the Reds came via goals from Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho (both 19 years old), meaning that Liverpool had two different teenagers score in the same Premier League game for the first time in their history.
Liverpool have won 13 of a possible 15 points from their last five Premier League games (W4 D1), having endured a torrid start to 2023 in the competition with just one point from four games (D1 L3).
Whilst a lot of attention has been directed at Liverpool’s attack across their current run of form, their defensive record is also impressive. They’ve kept a clean sheet in each of their last five Premier League matches, which is the same tally they’d kept in their 24 games before this run. They last had a longer run of clean sheets in league competition back in between December 2019 and January 2020, when they kept seven in a row.
Liverpool have won just 12 points from their 12 Premier League away games in 2022-23, which is the same tally as struggling Southampton and Leicester City. Even if they win their remaining seven away games this season, their maximum tally of away points in 2022-23 is 33, which is lower than in each of the last four seasons and 10 less than last term (43).
Gary O’Neil’s Bournemouth side have won 21 points from 25 games so far this season, which is their worst record at this stage of a Premier League campaign – four fewer than in 2019-20 (25), when they were relegated.
Since the return of Premier League football after the World Cup, Bournemouth have won just five points from 10 games (W1 D2 L7), which is the lowest tally of any side in the competition. Their recent form is tricky to gauge considering the quality of opposition that they’ve faced. When playing Newcastle on 11 February, the Magpies were fourth (1-1 draw), before they beat Wolves 1-0 and then had to face the top two teams in the table – Man City (4-1 defeat) and Arsenal, who they led 2-0 away at the Emirates Stadium before eventually losing 3-2 thanks to a 97th minute Reiss Nelson goal.
The Cherries have averaged 1.08 points per game at home in the Premier League this season, which is below their average in 2019-20 when they were relegated (1.10).
Bournemouth: Philip Billing
Philip Billing surprised everyone last weekend when he scored against league leaders Arsenal after just 9.11 seconds – the second fastest goal in Premier League history. That goal was his fifth of the season in the competition and he’s currently the Cherries top scorer from his central midfield role.
Three of those five goals have been important to Bournemouth – in wins against Nottingham Forest and Leicester, as well as securing a point in a 1-1 draw at Newcastle earlier this season.
Danish international Billing is also Bournemouth’s chief creator from open play, with a team-high 2.12 xG assisted figure, while he’s used his dominant 6-foot-4 frame to impose himself on the pitch with more tackles than any other player at the club in the Premier League this season (43).
Only Jefferson Lerma (2,109) and Adam Smith (2,046) have played more minutes in the Premier League for Bournemouth this season than he has (1,806), proving his importance in O’Neil’s plans.
Alisson over Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo? It might seem odd to pick Liverpool’s goalkeeper as their key man in a match that they are expected to win, but Alisson’s form this season has kept the Reds in the hunt for the top four and his recent run of five clean sheets has not only been due to the Virgil van Dijk-led defence in front of him.
The Brazilian has prevented 11 Premier League goals from being scored by opponents this season, based on Opta’s expected goals on target data (11.1), which is better than any other goalkeeper.
Goals prevented rate is the number of goals that a goalkeeper was expected to concede as a proportion of the number of goals they actually conceded. Alisson’s rate of 1.43 is the best of every goalkeeper to have played at least 1,500 league minutes in the English top-flight this season, and only behind Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga (1.57) considering all goalkeepers in the competition.
Bournemouth vs Liverpool Prediction
The Opta supercomputer backed Liverpool to defeat Man Utd last weekend, and despite many people thinking its calculations must be wrong, the Reds stormed to an amazing 7-0 win over their rivals. It backs Liverpool once again this weekend – their chance of beating Bournemouth on Saturday lunchtime is rated at 67.2%.
Bournemouth have just a shade over a one-in-10 chance of pulling off a shock win over the UEFA Champions League hopefuls (11.9%), with the draw rated at 20.9%.
Following that emphatic win over Man United last Sunday, Liverpool’s chances of finishing in the top four of the league table come the end of the season have increased to 54.4% – behind Arsenal, Man Utd and Manchester City but ahead of Tottenham Hotspur (23.8%), Newcastle (17.6%) and Brighton (9.9%).
Placed 20th in the standings coming into this matchweek, AFC Bournemouth are currently rated as favourites for relegation (67.2%) just ahead of Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton (66.1%) and Southampton (66.5%). Their chance is also higher than other relegation-threatened sides, such as Leeds (43.1%), Nottingham Forest (29.8%) and West Ham United (12.6%).