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Bournemouth 7-3-20 PL (H)

Back to Premier action this weekend. So we're in a mini-crisis? out of form? blip? still on holidays during our mid season break? This is a game where their Gaffer Eddie Howe is going to give us a real go at Anfield. Alisson is rule out due to Hip Injury and it's a worry that he may not feature next week's Champions League. Adrian will be taking his place, check! now as for the defence, I guess TAA can return to the fold and take his usual slot there as RB. The midfield is going to be tricky for the right balance between this game and the CL one next week. The attack could do with a little mix in the frying pan. The first 11 should be as follows:

Adrian

TAA - Gomez - VVD - Robertson

Milner - Fabinho - Wijnaldum

Firmino - Oxlade-Chamberlain - Salah

No Mane as I would prefer to keep him on the bench or not use him at all until next Wednesday. Best time to bring in the replacements is the 60, 65 and 70 minute mark. Best of luck Redmen.

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  • Very happy with the win of course but we really are a shadow of the team we were before Xmas. Gone is the speed of our attack, all this backwards and sideways passing is driving me crazy.
    Adrian terrifies me, he reminds me of Migs, a mistake waiting to happen, sooner the better Alison is back which unfortunately won't be for the Atletico game.
    We'll win the Lge but it looks like we'll make it tough for ourselves instead of being the march to victory it should be, as for the game on Wednesday night, i have to admit i'm not really looking forward to it, Anfield will be rocking but the way we're playing right now i can only see one result and it means we go no further it the comp, i hope i'm wrong.
  • A win is obviously a positive step forward, especially after going a goal behind (a goal that should've been ruled out), but somehow the performance provided more questions than answers. Adrian seems very nervy and intent on punching everything, probably because he's worried about making a mess of catches. I thought Gomez didn't look particularly confident either and at one point he and Van Dijk were yelling at each other. I don't know what to say about Fabinho, only the sooner he gets back to form the better. In fairness to the attacking half of the team I thought there was a greater preparedness to actually have a go at scoring (Mane was very unlucky to hit the woodwork) but I thought it was telling that our goals originated from Bournemouth mistakes rather than our own buildup play. Milner was a colossus, from his pre-kickoff team talk to his stunning goal line clearance, and it highlighted how much the team misses when there isn't a character on the pitch that really takes charge. I love Van Dijk to bits but he is not the same kind of captain as Milner and Henderson and right now the team needs more of an enforcer than a demonstrator. As for the games against Atletico and Everton, we're still giving teams too many opportunities to score in games, chances that on the whole haven't been converted. Unless we tighten up at the back I can't see a CL side like Atletico not scoring. Likewise, I can't see us scoring against a defensive team like Atletico if we don't sharpen up at the front and find a bit more creativity from somewhere. I can't bear to think about the game against Everton at this point, to be honest.
    • Fabinho's form is a strange issue. Watching him yesterday he didn't do a lot wrong, the problem was what he didn't do, which was to dominate the midfield like he was doing before his injury. He's had enough games now for the issue not to be one of fitness, so it must be one of confidence. The return of Henderson over the next week presents a problem for Klopp. Should he stick with Fabinho in the deep position and play Hendo further forward or replace him with Hendo who did well there in Fabinho's absence?
      • The problem is the Atletico game being win or bust, the result is everything so Klopp can be excused for purely doing what it takes to get a win. There is another option, which isn't particularly kind to Fabinho, and that is playing Wijnaldum in the deep role - a position we tend to forget he has experience in - and then play Henderson and perhaps Milner as AMs. The advantage of this arrangement is that Wijnaldum is fully up to speed and fit whereas if you were to put Henderson straight into that deep role there's no guarantee, what with coming back from injury, that he'd click straight from the off and he'd have little time to adjust. I think Klopp will probably stick with Fabinho, to be honest, but his performances of late don't inspire massive amounts of confidence.
  • That performance was little better than Watford but at least we got the three points which is all that matters in the end. It was an unbelievable decision by the ref not to give a foul for their goal and even more unbelievable for the VAR official not to give one. I guess the team deserve some credit for coming back from that early set back but they will have to play a lot better if they are to have any chance against Athletico or even Everton the following Monday.
  • Robertson left out, not even in the squad, is he injured? Strong team even so.
  • Our defence is best when Alisson and VVD are on the pitch so to lose one them is a blow. Adrian is an excellent 2nd choice keeper but he did make a howler that you can never imagine Alisson doing, guess that's why he's 2nd choice, we can only hope that hasn't shattered his and the others confidence in defending.
    I would stick with the usual front 3, they need the game time to rediscover their scoring boots, push the Ox back into midfield and bench Milner, i think this will be the team against Atletico so give them all this game to gain some confidence and momentum.
    Bournemouth will smell some blood here and will feel they could at least get a point, we badly need a top performance and a few goals to get back on track. This is definitely a must win game, we don't want our confidence to be hit anymore and we certainly don't want to be giving city a sniff of a chance of pulling that lead back, must win game.
  • Psychologically the result of this game is immense. If we lose this game then the Atletico match suddenly becomes much tougher, and it already will be without Alisson, so I wouldn't hold back against Bournemouth, I'd play a near identical team to what would be playing Atletico. I'd have the above team but with the usual front three, however I would put Lallana in for Wijnaldum because Gini will probably have to run himself into the ground against Atletico and Lallana could add a bit more creativity for the forwards. Tactically, I'll be interested to see what Klopp does. In his press conference he said outright he knew what Bournemouth will do, they'll play a low block and try to counter. So, how will Klopp respond? Will he do what he always does, go with a 4-3-3, and hope his players play the system better than they have been or does he switch to another system, maybe a 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-2-2, and try and upset the opposition's plans a bit? Going on previous evidence I'd say Klopp will stick with his 4-3-3 as he unshakeable faith in his players but I think there is at least a small argument that Liverpool have become slightly predictable in how they set up and at some point they will have to shake things up a bit.
  • I would keep Mane in the team. I'm not in favour of saving players for Athletico. The PL is the main prize this year. The CL would be a bonus. I would have Ox in midfield. He is better there than in the front three. Losing Alisson is a blow but Adrian, despite his howler in mid-week, is a very capable number two. Its easy to forget he made some superb saves in the Chelsea match and we won all 10 games when he played earlier in the season. This is a must win game, particularly in terms of confidence going forward. We should get the three points but these games are no longer the certainties that they would have been a few weeks ago.
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