Can Bournemouth take advantage of Reds’ dip?


Liverpool’s unbeaten run is now over - so is it a good or bad time for struggling Bournemouth to face the Reds?

It seemed Jurgen Klopp’s charges might emulate Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ and go through an entire top-flight campaign unbeaten, but Watford had other ideas.

An amazing 3-0 Vicarage Road victory last weekend ended their winning run and although it will have no bearing on where the Premier League trophy ends up, it may alter the Anfield stars’ mentality.

There is no question that the title is sewn up but, with the chance to make even more history now out of the window, will there be the same intensity among the Liverpool players?

Howe will hope not although he feels his men are still in for a tough afternoon given the way the Merseysiders have performed all season.

“I think consistency is their standout quality, they’ve got quality players and an outstanding manager, and the way they play is so difficult to play against,” he told reporters at Friday’s media conference.

One positive for the Cherries is that Liverpool have a vital Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid on the horizon and need to overturn a 1-0 deficit when Diego Simeone brings Los Rojiblancos to the north west on Wednesday evening.

It may be that a few of the home stars are not quite ‘at it’ on Saturday, with bigger things to follow four days later, and the south-coast outfit can take advantage.

The Hornets proved that the European champions are not unbeatable, while Chelsea downed them 2-0 in the FA Cup this week, and Howe’s side could certainly do with the points.

Last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea was a step in the right direction although it still left them in the drop zone and fighting a battle against relegation.

They are one of three clubs on 27 points, while Brighton have 28, and it is anyone’s guess who will fall through the Premier League trapdoor in May.

It could be argued the result against Liverpool is not the one that will keep Bournemouth afloat as they soon face Crystal Palace and Newcastle – more winnable fixtures.

However, at this stage of the campaign, every game is important and cannot be overlooked as a potential source of points.

Howe added: “This weekend is probably the ultimate test this season. We’ve got to rise to it, embrace it and attack it.”

Only time will tell if it is a good week to face the Reds, but Howe will be aware that a wounded animal is dangerous.