Liverpool vs Bournemouth predictions: Cherries' Reds record is discouraging
Liverpool's fixture list appears to have delivered the perfect pick-me-up with the visit of newly-promoted Bournemouth for a traditional 3pm kick-off at Anfield on Saturday.
The Reds have been off colour so far with only two points taken from three very winnable games - the most concerning performance of the lot being Monday's meek showing in Manchester.
Jurgen Klopp seemed lost for answers as to why his team have underwhelmed, but the Liverpool boss has had a few days to come up with new solutions ahead of the Cherries' visit.
Bournemouth boss Scott Parker was the last visiting manager to come away from Anfield with a Premier League victory when he did so with Fulham in March 2021.
The Englishman's inspiring pre-match team talk that day warned his players of how much they would need to suffer - something Klopp and Liverpool fully intend to make happen.
Klopp has revealed Naby Keita is not yet ready to return after admitting on Monday that the midfielder's muscle injury required further assessment.
Curtis Jones remains unavailable because of a calf problem while Thiago Alcantara is still at least a couple of weeks away from a return from a hamstring injury.
Fabinho is likely to come into the Reds midfield after starting on the bench against Manchester Utd with James Milner due a rest.
With Joel Matip and fellow centre-back Ibrahima Konate still absent, Joe Gomez will continue alongside Virgil van Dijk in what is likely to be an unchanged Liverpool back four.
A lack of available options up front because of Darwin Nunez's suspension and Diogo Jota's injury means Roberto Firmino is set to continue alongside Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz.
Former Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke could be available to play once more after missing the Cherries' defeats to Manchester City and Arsenal with an ankle issue.
He could be restored to a two-man attack alongside Kieffer Moore if he comes through Friday's training session unscathed, although starting him on the bench would be the sensible option.
Junior Stanislas, Ryan Fredericks and Joe Rothwell remain sidelined as a result of their respective injuries.
Klopp has made seven changes to his starting XI in Liverpool's first three matches - no other Premier League manager has made more so far.
Milner's recent inclusion has pushed the average age of Liverpool's 2022-23 line-ups to 28 years and 163 days old - second only to West Ham in the first three Premier League matchday.
The absence of Thiago appears to be being keenly felt by the winless Reds, given the Spaniard has not finished on the losing side in 27 league matches he has started since March 2021.
Liverpool have averaged 2.6 points per game during that sequence, but just 2.0 per game when he hasn't started for them with the same time period.
Bournemouth have lost on seven of their last eight visits to Anfield in the Premier League.
The Cherries have recorded only 16 shots so far this season, the fewest of any Premier League club through the opening three games since Huddersfield in 2018-19.
Liverpool look more vulnerable to a potentially huge home shock than at any time since Parker's Fulham inflicted their sixth Anfield defeat in a row late in that injury-hit 2020-21 campaign.
Yet it will still take a herculean effort from the Cherries to resist the Reds for 90 minutes, particularly with Klopp looking for a reaction to their defeat at Old Trafford.
Liverpool will take any win right now, whether it is ugly or laced with controversy, just to get their season back on track and it could pay to oppose them in handicap markets.
Bournemouth held the lead briefly before going down 2-1 on their last trip to the red half of Merseyside and something of a similar order might be on the cards this weekend.