Liver­pool de­ter­mined to get to the top

CityPress - - Sport -

Liver­pool will be look­ing to keep up the mo­men­tum and sus­tain their chal­lenge in the Premier League when they travel to the Vi­tal­ity Sta­dium to take on AFC Bournemouth this af­ter­noon.

Jür­gen Klopp’s in-form Reds, who come into this match af­ter two 2-0 wins in the league and EFL Cup, are un­beaten in 15 games in all com­pe­ti­tions.

Be­fore this week­end’s fix­tures, Liver­pool were one point adrift of league lead­ers Chelsea on 30 points, with Ed­die Howe’s Cher­ries down in 12th with half the points tally.

Their last out­ing was a 3-1 re­verse to ti­tle chasers Arse­nal.

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence ahead of his side’s clash, Klopp said Adam Lal­lana and Roberto Firmino had both re­turned to train­ing af­ter in­jury, the lat­ter to the groin and the for­mer to the calf.

“He [Lal­lana] was back in train­ing on Thurs­day and looked good. We will see how he re­acts,” Klopp said. “He [Firmino] trained yes­ter­day, too. He has a lit­tle pain, but it’s not se­ri­ous.”

Philippe Coutinho was, how­ever, out with an an­kle knock, as was Daniel Stur­ridge, while Joël Matip was to face a late fit­ness test af­ter pick­ing up a mi­nor knock. Andrew Sur­man, who has been out since Oc­to­ber with a ham­string in­jury, will again be miss­ing for Bournemouth. But Ar­tur Boruc, who has a back in­jury, Char­lie Daniels (hip) and Ju­nior Stanis­las (knock) could be avail­able.

Howe told the club’s web­site: “We felt Boruc could’ve been avail­able last week, but he missed out. Char­lie missed the Arse­nal game, so we’re go­ing to have to make a late de­ci­sion on him.” Ever­ton vs Manch­ester United Manch­ester United, mean­while, will be hop­ing to make up ground on the early-sea­son front-run­ners when they face Ever­ton at Good­i­son Park.

José Mour­inho’s United, in sixth place, have 20 points, while Ron­ald Koe­man’s Tof­fees are on 19 points.

The Red Devils started the sea­son slowly, but have been steadily im­prov­ing and have not lost in five games, and got some re­venge on West Ham with a 4-1 League Cup win on Wed­nes­day af­ter be­ing held by the Ham­mers in the league last Sun­day.

And Ever­ton, who have lost five, drawn three and only won one of their last nine games, were 1-0 losers to Southamp­ton last time out. For United, Chris Smalling (bro­ken toe) is at least a week away from fit­ness, while Eric Bailly (knee) is a long-term ca­su­alty.

And Wayne Rooney, who has fi­nally started to find some form, is sus­pended af­ter ac­cu­mu­lat­ing five yel­low cards.

Ahead of the match, Mour­inho hinted that Hen­rikh Mkhi­taryan could start against the Tof­fees af­ter his im­pres­sive dis­play in the EFL Cup.

He said: “We are re­ally happy be­cause we know the rea­son we bought him and we were wait­ing for his adap­ta­tion to the English game, and it looks like it’s com­ing.”

Ever­ton boss Ron­ald Koe­man is, how­ever, hop­ing to wel­come James McCarthy (ham­string) back into his side, while Séa­mus Cole­man (an­kle) re­mains an in­jury doubt.

Me­dia – TEAMtalk

PHOTO: TONY MCAR­DLE/EVER­TON FC/ GETTY IMAGES

FLASH­BACK Ir­ish­man Séa­mus Cole­man has an in­jured an­kle and is un­likely to take part in the match be­tween Ever­ton and Manch­ester United at Good­i­son Park

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