We are back to Premier League action after advancing to the Champions League semifinals, and our next opponents are AFC Bournemouth. We are placed third at the table with an extra game played, four points behind United and tied with Tottenham. The players out for us are Lallana, Can, and Matip. The last time we played Bournemouth we beat them 4-0 away form home. Now obviously we play them at Anfield.
For us I think it is important to rest some players, but we have to remember that this game is important as well, as we look to get a top three finish. Physical fatigue will be there, but maybe more importantly so will mental fatigue. A nice little rest to regroup could do wonders for some of these players, as they prepare for the final stretch to the season. With that being said, I think we go with a lineup of Karius; Clyne, Klavan, VVD, Moreno; Milner, Wijnaldum, Henderson, the OX; Ings, Solanke. Yes, I think we go 4-4-2 this game. I also expect us to bring in the big guns (our forwards) at some point during the second half, so that may change back to a 4-3-3.
Defensivey, I think we go with our normal mid block, but allow their CBs to control and have the ball. Do not press them. If they want to come forward with it and enter our defensive wall, let them. If we do not press them, we essentially have a 10v8 advantage, since we are not worrying about two of their players. We force their CBs to make the difference for them, to be the playmakers. This will lead to mistakes, and those mistakes will lead to counters.
When we attack in transition, our midfielders must make runs through the half-space channels. Ings and Solanke can hold on to the ball to allow our midfielders to run through them, and then our forwards can spring them through. It is better to make these runs through the half-spaces because if we lose the ball, this is an ideal area of the field to counter press. It is an ideal area to counter press because of the access to both the middle and wing spaces. More unpredictability.
Offensively, it is all about making threatening runs to make more room inbetween the lines. Henderson should drop between the CBs to help with the build up, and allow Moreno and Clyne to move up to the midfield line. This will give the Ox somewhat of a license to make threatening runs behind the Bournemouth back line, hopefully stretching their lines and therefore leaving more space between them for Ings and Solanke to drop into. They can play layoffs into Wijnaldum and Henderson (should he step up from the backline) and they can play Milner and the Ox making runs between our opponents CBs and FBs, occupying two players with one run.
Overall I think we win, but it may take bringing on our front three to turn the game in our favor. I say it ends 2-0 for Liverpool.