Still on the hunt for a quadruple, Jürgen Klopp’s Reds are fighting on all fronts as we look ahead with our Bournemouth vs Liverpool prediction and preview for Sunday’s Premier League clash.
Bournemouth vs Liverpool Stats: The Quick Hits
- Liverpool are predicted by the Opta supercomputer to defeat Bournemouth, with the Reds winning 61.2% of pre-match simulations.
- This will be Liverpool’s first Premier League game without Mohamed Salah since a 2-1 win at Southampton in May 2022.
- Bournemouth have taken more points from their last eight Premier League games than any other side (19).
Liverpool will be looking to consolidate their place at the Premier League summit when they visit the Vitality Stadium to face Andoni Iraola’s in-form Bournemouth on Sunday, with the Reds returning to top-flight action after two positive cup results to start 2024.
Jürgen Klopp’s side sit three points clear of Manchester City and Aston Villa in the league – who both played last weekend in a split Matchday 21 – and five ahead of fourth-placed Arsenal, who have fallen down the league table after a woeful Christmas period.
Liverpool were 4-2 winners at home in their last Premier League outing against Newcastle United, with Mohamed Salah scoring twice – as well as missing a spot-kick – along with goals from Curtis Jones and Cody Gakpo on New Year’s Day. Backing up their fine league form, Liverpool dealt a psychological blow to Arsenal with a 2-0 victory in their FA Cup third-round clash at the Emirates Stadium. They made it three straight wins across all competitions to start the new year as they battled from a goal down to beat Fulham 2-1 after second-half strikes from Jones and Gakpo in their EFL Cup semi-final first leg at Anfield.
Competing in all three domestic competitions, as well as the UEFA Europa League knockout stage, the Reds are yet to relent on any front but Klopp will face some unwanted considerations for his lineup on Sunday. The Bournemouth trip will be Liverpool’s first Premier League game without Salah, who is at the Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt, since a 2-1 win at Southampton in May 2022. However, since Salah joined the Reds in 2017-18, Liverpool have lost none of their 10 Premier League games without him (W7 D3), winning each of the last four in a row. Klopp’s mood will not have been helped by seeing Salah limp off in Egypt’s 2-2 draw with Ghana on Thursday with an apparent hamstring issue.
Darwin Núñez could step up in Salah’s absence, with the former Benfica striker averaging a goal or assist every 93 minutes in all competitions for Klopp’s men this season (8 goals, 10 assists in 1,667 minutes), with only Salah having a better average for Liverpool this term (one every 79). Núñez’s next goal will also be the 100th of his senior career for club and country.
Trent Alexander-Arnold will also not be available due to a knee injury, while Andy Robertson, Kostas Tsimikas, Dominik Szoboszlai, Stefan Bajcetić, Thiago Alcântara and Joël Matip are still out injured. Wataru Endo is away at the Asian Cup with Japan.
After speculation over Iraola’s future at Bournemouth, the former Rayo Vallecano head coach has turned his new side’s fortunes around. A 3-1 defeat against Spurs at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in their last league outing should only serve as a minor blemish on an otherwise impressive festive period, having triumphed in four straight league games – against Crystal Palace, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest and Fulham – before that.
A 3-2 comeback victory against Championship side QPR in the FA Cup third round will only add momentum to the impressive Bournemouth charge after Marcus Tavernier, Kieffer Moore and Justin Kluivert inspired a noteworthy second-half turnaround at Loftus Road.
The south-coast club sit 12th in the league table heading into this weekend’s MD 21 fixtures, some nine points clear of the relegation zone despite not winning any of their first nine games this term. That upturn in form has largely been down to the scoring form of former Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke, who has found the net in each of his last three home league games (vs Man Utd, Forest and Fulham) and could become the first player to score in four consecutive home appearances in the Premier League for Bournemouth.
In team news for the hosts, Iraola also has a hefty absentee list to deal with, though, as Antoine Semenyo and Dango Ouattara are at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana and Burkina Faso respectively, while Ryan Fredericks, Lloyd Kelly, Hamed Traorè and Tyler Adams are out injured and key centre-back Marcos Senesi is suspended. Bournemouth could at least welcome back Milos Kerkez, who has recovered from an ankle injury sustained at the end of last month.
Bournemouth vs Liverpool Head-to-Head
Bournemouth have lost eight of their last nine league meetings with Liverpool, though the exception was a 1-0 victory in this exact fixture last season as Salah missed a penalty after Philip Billing had given the hosts the lead.
Liverpool have already won at the Vitality Stadium this season, beating Bournemouth 2-1 in the EFL Cup fourth round as Gakpo and Núñez scored on a wet and windy night, with Justin Kluivert finding the net for the Cherries. The last team to beat the south-coast club twice away from home in the same season was Bristol City in 1999-00.
Klopp’s side were also 3-1 victors in the reverse fixture at Anfield this term, responding to Semenyo’s surprise third-minute opener with goals from Luis Díaz, Salah and Diogo Jota, despite Alexis Mac Allister’s second-half red card.
Look away Bournemouth fans… the Cherries have lost all nine of their Premier League games against teams starting the day top of the table, conceding 30 goals and scoring just six. It’s the most such games any team has played in the competition with a 100% loss record.
The Premier League’s two most in-form teams will meet for this one, with Bournemouth recording more points from their last eight top-flight games than any other side (19 – W6 D1 L1), while Liverpool rank second in the same period with 18 (W5 D3).
Bournemouth have won three of their last four Premier League home games (D1), against Fulham, Newcastle United and Burnley, as many as their previous 16 beforehand (D4 L9). They have scored nine goals in their last four league games at home, also including a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa, as many as in their previous 11.
However, Liverpool have also won each of their last three away league games after defeating Burnley, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United, while Klopp’s men last won four in a row on the road in the competition in March 2022. They have kept two clean sheets in these three wins, as many as their previous 14 away league matches beforehand, while they also won 2-0 away at Arsenal in the FA Cup earlier this month.
Klopp’s men are the comeback kings this term, too, rescuing more points from losing positions than any other side in the Premier League this season (19), with 12 of those coming away from home. They have lost just one of their last 14 league games in which they’ve trailed (W6 D7), with that defeat coming away to Tottenham in September after a 96th-minute Matip own goal. That remains their only loss in the Premier League this season.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides:
Bournemouth vs Liverpool Opta Player Ratings
Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:
Dominic Solanke: 70.4 (out of 100)
Marcus Tavernier: 65.5
Marcos Senesi: 62.6
Lewis Cook: 60.2
Mohamed Salah: 78.2 (out of 100)
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 75.8
Virgil van Dijk: 75.6
Dominik Szoboszlai: 73.6
Bournemouth vs Liverpool Prediction
The Opta supercomputer heavily backs Liverpool for victory, with Klopp’s side winning 61.2% of 10,000 pre-match simulations compared to a Bournemouth win in just 15.6% and a draw in 23.2% of data-led scenarios.
Manchester City still rank as the favourites to defend their title, though, winning the Premier League in 65% of season simulations, with Liverpool’s chances ranked at 30.7% despite being top of the league table.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth finish 12th – their current league-table standing – in the most Opta predictions (20.7%), though they secure a top-10 position in 27.7% of them.