Liverpool vs. Bournemouth
Premier League (2) | Anfield
August 19, 2023 | 3pm (BST)
Jurgen Klopp‘s side got the new campaign underway with a point at Stamford Bridge and now it is time for home comforts as Liverpool return to Anfield.
Bournemouth are the visitors and we all know what happened on their last visit, but could lightning really strike the same place twice?
Here are 10 things you need to know ahead of Liverpool’s first game back at Anfield.
1. Only 51,000 at Anfield
The first home game of the season was set to see over 60,000 at Anfield, but those plans were delayed some time ago and the attendance will be reduced to around 51,000.
Only the lower tier of the Anfield Road Stand will be open on Saturday, and that could remain the case for some time after the construction company responsible for the stand filed for administration.
It is a significant setback for the club but all Jurgen, his players and the fans can focus on is securing their first three points of the campaign.
2. Welcome, Endo!
It was a name from left-field and things moved quickly after the initial news broke, with Wataru Endo becoming the third signing of the summer on Friday.
The defensive midfielder can also be deployed at centre-back and with experience and leadership qualities in abundance, the 30-year-old represents a shrewd addition to the squad.
He has been registered with the Premier League, but it’s still unclear whether he has been granted a work permit in time to be available in the matchday squad.
If he is available, expect him to replace James McConnell on the bench.
3. Klopp upbeat
Most of Klopp’s press conference on Friday focussed on Endo’s arrival and potential of further transfers.
The boss insisted several times how happy he is with the Japan captain’s signing and the transfer window in general for Liverpool.
“I sit here and I’m really happy with the transfer window in this moment, our transfer window,” he said.
“I know what happened last week, I know how football fans are, and I know they would prefer to bring in a player who is £110 million or £150 million, and that your club can do that.
“That’s kind of nice but in the end, the pitch is the same size, the player will not grow with the money he costs, it’s rather the other way around.”
4. Team news for Liverpool
Klopp has decisions up front with Darwin Nunez an option there, but an unchanged XI seems most likely.
5. Bournemouth will be aggressive
With Gary O’Neil leaving at the end of last season, Bournemouth are into unknown territory.
New manager Andoni Iraola has gained plaudits in Spain for guiding perennial strugglers Rayo Vallecano to mid-table status in La Liga.
The Cherries have made a couple of exciting signings over the summer with Justin Kluivert arriving from Roma and exciting young midfielder, Alex Scott, signing for £25 million from Bristol City.
6. Predicted lineup
A fixture like this would be a contender for rotation normally. However, this early in the season Klopp will aim for consistency in his team selection.
While his starting XI selection meant Liverpool were exposed on the left last weekend, it shouldn’t be as much of an issue playing at Anfield.
Predicted XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Gakpo; Salah, Jota, Diaz
7. Klopp admits possession vs. Chelsea was “an absolute joke”
Liverpool had just 35 percent possession at Stamford Bridge last week – their worst under Klopp since a 4-1 defeat at Tottenham in 2018.
“Thirty-five percent possession is an absolute joke,” admitted Klopp on Friday. “It should not happen.”
Explaining it, he highlighted how “it happened because we were too much in a rush with the ball.”
Klopp and everyone else will be expecting much better at home.
8. Did you know?
Last season’s 9-0 home win was the joint highest top-flight victory in Liverpool’s history, matching the Reds’ famous 9-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace in 1989.
At Anfield, the Reds have played Bournemouth nine times, winning eight and drawing one.
Meanwhile, Alexander-Arnold will make his 200th Premier League appearance for Liverpool. Of the current squad, only Salah (219) has played more times for the Reds in the league.
Liverpool’s first penalty award of the 2022/23 league campaign came against Bournemouth, with Salah missing from the spot in the defeat in March!
9. Paul Tierney is the VAR…
There is a new face taking charge of this contest for Liverpool, with Thomas Bramall taking on the responsibilities as referee. It’s his first in charge of the Reds.
The big story, though, is Paul Tierney, the official involved in a controversial clash with Klopp last season, is lead VAR, he is assisted by Constantine Hatzidakis.
This should be fun.
10. Follow the match with TIA
Liverpool vs. Bournemouth is not live on TV in the UK as the 3pm blackout is still in effect.
That leaves TIA’s matchday live blog as the best place to keep up to date, Sam Millne will be providing all the updates as the Reds return to Anfield.
Into these, Liverpool.