EPL Betting Preview: AFC Bournemouth vs. Liverpool – Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018
Matchup at a Glance
When: Saturday, December 8, 2018, at 07:30 AM
Where: Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, England.
Odds: AFC Bournemouth +409, Draw +326, Liverpool -169
AFC Bournemouth have ended their negative streak when they beat Huddersfield Town 2-1 on Tuesday but this time Eddie Howe's men take on an inspired Liverpool side.
Eddie Howe stated “There is a lot of relief” following Bournemouth's midweek success which lifts them above Manchester United and Leicester City.
The Cherries are now seventh in the Premier League standings and have the same number of points with sixth-placed Everton (23).
The Reds from Merseyside, who probably will not play with their regular red kits here, have made a comeback to win 3-1 at Burnley on Wednesday and another victory at Bournemouth will see them climbing top of the table, at least for a few hours.
AFC Bournemouth – Team News
AFC Bournemouth have no reason to be unhappy with their current record (7 wins, 2 draws and 6 losses) and the 41-year-old Eddie Howe is already a living legend of the South coast club.
The 2-1 win over Huddersfield Town happened in the right moment after four consecutive defeats. However, the Cherries have scored in each of them, losing 2-1 to Manchester United, Newcastle, and Arsenal, as well as 3-1 to Manchester City last weekend.
Bournemouth's offense impressed early on, but they ended up relying on the back line with Dutch center-back Nathan Ake making 15 clearances and five blocks, both match-high totals.
When it comes to attacking, Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson were once again under the spotlights. They've both scored and assisted each other, making them the two most productive players for Bournemouth this season.
Ryan Fraser has already scored four goals and delivered seven assists for the Cherries – more than any other player has provided for AFC Bournemouth in a single Premier League campaign.
Callum Wilson, who also became the first ever Bournemouth player to score for the England national team last month, has scored eight goals and five assists in 15 Premier League appearances this season – as many as his managed in 28 games last season.
Midfielder Lewis Cook has suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament during the midweek round and could be out for up to nine months.
“Cook was assessed by the club's medical staff following the match, with further assessment and scans on Wednesday revealing the extent of the damage to his right knee.”
Full-back Adam Smith is expected to miss out again, while Dan Gosling is doubtful and Andrew Surman looks favorite to start in central midfield alongside Jefferson Lerma.
Liverpool – Team News
Liverpool came from behind to extend their unbeaten Premier League start to 15 games with their 12th victory of the campaign. Moreover, that's the club’s best ever start to a top-flight season after 15 games.
Despite the comeback and strong desire shown by Liverpool on Wednesday, Jurgen Klopp's plans were darkened by Joe Gomez's injury. One of the most promising defenders not only in England but in Europe suffered a serious ankle injury in the first half at Turf Moor.
The Reds will have to assess the seriousness of the issue in the coming days. However, Jurgen Klopp already confirmed the England international will likely face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Update from Liverpool's official website: “Gomez’s injury was further assessed by the Reds’ medical team at Melwood on Thursday.
Initial indications suggest the 21-year-old is facing a spell of up to six weeks out of action, though this is dependent on how his treatment and rehabilitation programmes progress.“
Joel Matip will be keen to retain his position in the starting XI, with Dejan Lovren more likely to feature in the decisive Champions League clash against Napoli next week.
Meanwhile, Naby Keita made his first start since coming off early during a 1-0 loss at Naples back in October and was arguably Liverpool's most active player throughout the Burnley game.
Klopp was understandably delighted with Keita's performance and we expect another vigorous role for the Guinean midfielder on Saturday. He will start in central midfield trio unless the Liverpool boss doesn't plan to stick with the same 4-4-2 formation he fielded in midweek. Keita should get the nod anyway.
Andy Robertson and Sadio Mane missed the midweek match through injury and both remain doubtful. Considering the importance of the two games next week, when Jurgen Klopp's side will host to Napoli and rivals Manchester United, the German is not expected to risk his key players here.
Although some sites suggest Robertson should be ready to start here, Jurgen Klopp might be tempted to field experienced James Milner at left-back again, following Alberto Moreno's poor performance in his second league start of the season.
Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were dropped (rested) to the bench against Burnley and the latter had an instant impact as he scored just minutes after coming on as a substitute, while Salah assisted for Shaqiri's stoppage-time goal.
We expect Salah and Firmino in the starting lineup against Bournemouth, while the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Adam Lallana, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi, who scored the dramatic late winner against Everton on Sunday, provide more attacking options.
Klopp already surprised the soccer community, starting with none of the fearsome trio Mane-Firmino-Salah on Wednesday, picking Origi-Sturridge-Shaqiri instead. Indeed, the Reds started a match without any of Sadio Mane, Bobby Firmino or Mo Salah for the first time in more than 18 months. We do not expect this to happen again on Saturday.
Possible Starting Lineups of AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool
AFC Bournemouth: Asmir Begovic – Charlie Daniels, Nathan Ake, Steve Cook, Simon Francis – Ryan Fraser, Jefferson Lerma, Andrew Surman, David Brooks – Callum Wilson, Joshua King. (4-4-2)
Liverpool: Alisson – Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson – Fabinho, Naby Keita – Xherdan Shaqiri, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana – Mohamed Salah. (4-2-3-1)
Trust on The Goal Scoring Ability of Both Sides – Bet On Goals
Although fatigue could be an issue for both sides, we have two managers that preach attractive soccer and their head-to-head history (there are 3 or more goals scored in each of their last 5 Premier League meetings) also suggests we should expect another goal scoring affair early on Saturday.
Furthermore, the injury of Joe Gomez could affect Liverpool's defensive form which is best in the league. We bet on “Over 3 Goals”.