Fresh from their Champions League exploits, Liverpool return to Premier League action on Saturday against Bournemouth, looking to cement their place in the Premier League's top four. Mark O'Haire previews the encounter...
"Liverpool have W6-D1-L0 when entertaining bottom-half clubs, leaking a solitary strike across over 10 hours of action"
Liverpool v Bournemouth
Saturday 14th April, 17:30
Live on BT Sport
Liverpool on cloud nine
Liverpool reached their first Champions League semi-final for 10 years after coming from behind to win at Manchester City and secure an emphatic 5-1 aggregate win on Tuesday night. Despite conceding after only two minutes, the Reds rode out the City storm before delivering the killer blow of an away goal.
Mohamed Salah chipped in his 39th goal of the season to all but end the tie before Roberto Firmino's classy finish 13 minutes from time completed the formalities. Now attention at Anfield turns to consolidating a spot in the top-four.
Jurgen Klopp made five changes for the Merseyside derby last week, most notably in attack, and may look to freshen up his squad again here. Jordan Henderson will return to the starting XI whilst Nathaniel Clyne could start at right-back if starlet Trent Alexander-Arnold requires a breather.
Another Bournemouth late show
Josh King's dramatic 89th-minute equaliser earned Bournemouth a point in last weekend's home encounter with Crystal Palace. The Cherries twice trailed in the contest but Lys Mousset scored off the bench before fellow substitute King bundled home a late leveller.
The South Coast club now sit 10 points clear of the relegation zone although Eddie Howe's team could easily have lost the fixture on another day. A determined and defensive display frustrated their visitors but Bournemouth came under plenty of pressure with the eagles spurning several opportunities to score more.
King's goal means the Cherries have won a league-high 18 points from losing positions and continues a remarkable run which has seen a goal scored in the 89th minute or later in each of their last seven league games. The goalscorer will expect to start here but Jordan Ibe remains a doubt through illness.
Liverpool [1.28] haven't always enjoyed an easy ride against Bournemouth in the Premier League with the Reds held here last season and scratching a nervy 1-0 success back in August 2015. However, the Merseysiders boast an unbeaten Anfield record in league action this season (W10-D6-L0) and arrive in buoyant mood.
Jurgen Klopp's troops have smashed 24 goals in their past seven Anfield outings, and notched at least twice in 14 of their last 17 games now. The hosts have also won 'to nil' in three of their past four matches in all competitions here, silencing their opposition on each occasion.
In fact, Liverpool have W6-D1-L0 when entertaining bottom-half clubs, leaking a solitary strike across over 10 hours of action. Considering Bournemouth [13.50] have been beaten in eight of their 10 matches against the Big Six this term, with their opponents recording a win 'to nil' in six of these, including four out of five on the road, a repeat appeals at [2.32.
Both sides have seen a healthy 22/33 (67%) of their Premier League matches return profit for Over 2.5 Goals [1.41] punters with 25/66 (38%) of their combined encounters featuring four goals or more.
Liverpool have scored twice or more in 10 of their 16 Anfield contests, including each of their past seven. With Bournemouth shipping two or more goals in five of their previous seven showdowns, a repeat looks likely but the markets are expecting and overestimating a goal-heavy game and so there's little value in supporting a high-scoring match-up.
Mark's 2017/18 Profit/Loss
Staked: 154.00 pts
Returned: 170.00 pts
P/L: +16.00 pts