Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has more injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth than he would prefer. Defender Joe Gomez, who has been a standout player at both right-back and centre-back this season, is out six weeks. Gomez suffered a lower leg fracture in Wednesday night’s 3-1 win over Burnley. The fixture also saw Klopp rest key players Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino for large patches of the game. Meanwhile, Sadio Mane and left-back Andrew Robertson missed the fixture due to injury.
Saturday’s visit to the Vitality Stadium sees Liverpool face a tricky Bournemouth team. The Cherries are seventh in the Premier League. Despite losing four straight matches in recent weeks, Eddie Howe’s side got back to winning ways in midweek with a win over Huddersfield.
Liverpool are light in defence with Gomez’s injury. Centre-back Dejan Lovren has missed the last two matches. He may not be fit enough to feature at the weekend. Robertson should be back in the squad after a dead leg prevented his participation against Burnley. Alberto Moreno did fill-in well at left-back as did James Milner when Klopp made a tactical adjustment to become more attacking.
Midfielder Adam Lallana was including in Liverpool’s squad in midweek but didn’t make it off the bench. Despite his poor form and fitness this term, he can still play a major role as Jurgen Klopp manages players’ minutes over the busy period of December.
Crunch Month of Matches
Lallana could get the nod against Bournemouth as Klopp rotates some of his important players out of the starting XI. Liverpool face Napoli in the Champions League next week and must win by two clear goals to go through to the knockout round.
Klopp started against Burnley in a 4-4-2 formation rather than the team’s prefered 4-3-3. Klopp may be forced to alter his formation once more due to fitness and injury.
The back four should be similar to how Liverpool finished against Burnley. Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip will be the team’s centre-back pairing while Robertson returns to the left-back position with Trent Alexander-Arnold deployed on the right.
Naby Keita should be included once more after he played his best game in a Liverpool shirt against Burnley. Jurgen Klopp may make changes from there. Georginio Wijnaldum was sat out in midweek and he should return to the starting XI.
Jurgen Klopp has choices for his third central midfield position. Both Jordan Henderson and James Milner played well in midweek, but he could select Fabinho. It would give Henderson and Milner the chance to rest ahead of Napoli’s visit.
Firmino and Salah will most likely be paired with Daniel Sturridge up top. The trio played well together in the second half on Wednesday night. Playing Sturridge as the No. 9 allowed Firmino to play wide on the left and to drop deep into midfield as a creator. It was similar to the position he played at Hoffenheim before joining Liverpool.
The Reds have a tricky fixture on Saturday and a win could see them take over first place in the Premier League. Manchester City will travel to Chelsea on Saturday evening. It is a big weekend for both teams.