Liverpool welcome Bournemouth to Anfield hoping to redeem themselves after a string of disappointing performances and results. January signing Takumi Minamino is likely to return to the bench and the Japanese international has spoken about his Liverpool struggles.
Liverpool Welcome Bournemouth to Anfield
Takumi Minamino Opens Up On Liverpool Struggles
January signing Takumi Minamino will once again sit on the Liverpool bench this weekend after a disappointing display against Chelsea. The Japanese international has made just six appearances for the Reds since arriving from Red Bull Salzburg and has admitted his struggles at the club.
Speaking to the club website, Minamino said “In the last three months there have been areas which I’m quite happy about. But personally, I would love to contribute more to goals and assists – I’m feeling very hungry about that.
“I don’t really know how much I still need to learn. But day by day, I’m feeling that I understand his [Klopp’s] philosophies and I’m getting better.
“I have to show results, I think this is very important in order to win trust from the teammates and trust from the supporters.
“I have been in this club for three months and I haven’t played many games and my playing time is not that much – but this is not a good excuse.
“In order to appeal to my teammates and [for them to] understand what I’m good at, I have to do what I really need to do.
“I think I’m still [learning] to fully understand the team, but I still hate to wait. In order to make an instant impact and make a contribution to the team, I’m doing my best every day.
“I only have limited chances but when the manager needs me, I have to show the results of the manager’s expectations.”
Three Defeats in Four for the Reds
Liverpool are enduring their first real tough patch of the season, having been flawless thus far. The Reds have lost three of their last four games in all competitions and Jurgen Klopp will demand a response against struggling Bournemouth this weekend.
Despite their recent struggles, Liverpool need just four more wins to guarantee a first league title since 1990. Certainly, Bournemouth at home provides a good opportunity to take another step towards the title.
They were put to the sword by Watford before a flat display at Chelsea saw them crash out the FA Cup. Klopp’s frustrations are beginning to surface, but he is confident his side can get over this blip with a crucial week on the horizon. However, they will face a tough test from Bournemouth who are fresh off an excellent draw with Chelsea in their last game.
Alisson Misses Out With a Muscle Injury
Liverpool will be missing goalkeeper Alisson, who is ruled out with a muscle injury. Jurgen Klopp confirmed in his press conference that the Brazilian will miss the Bournemouth game and potentially the Champions League return leg with Atletico Madrid. He will also be sidelined for the Merseyside derby against Everton.
Klopp will revert back to his strongest 11 for the visit of Bournemouth with Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah all likely to return, meaning the likes of Minamino and Adam Lallana will return to the bench. The game comes too soon for Jordan Henderson and Xherdan Shaqiri.
Bournemouth Head to Anfield With Nothing to Lose
Liverpool’s opponents Bournemouth head to Merseyside hoping to spring a surprise on the runaway leaders. The Cherries are in the relegation zone but need to play with freedom at Anfield with nothing expected of them.
Callum Wilson and Josh King will look to stretch the Liverpool backline, with counter-attacking Bournemouth’s most likely route to success. With Harry Wilson ineligible to face his parent club, Eddie Howe could set up with a back five at Anfield with Wilson and King upfront.
The Cherries have a rotten record against Liverpool, losing their last five games by an aggregate of 17-0. It could be another difficult afternoon with Liverpool needing to respond to recent defeats.
A crucial game for both sides at Anfield with a win imperative for both sides for different reasons.