After a pulsating 4-3 victory against Borussia Dortmund at Anfield in midweek, it is back to Premier League normality for Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool today with a trip to Bournemouth.
The Liverpool manager’s team selection in the 4-1 win against Stoke last weekend indicated that he was beginning to prioritise the Europa League, and the team he is picked for this afternoon’s match at the Vitality Stadium appears to conform to that theory, as he has selected virtually an entirely different starting lineup.
In all, Klopp makes ten changes from the side that started at Anfield in midweek – only Roberto Firmino keeps his place.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 17, 2016
Arguably the biggest change is that of the goalkeeper. Simon Mignolet drops to the bench and is replaced by Wales international Danny Ward, who began the season on loan on Aberdeen.
In defence, Nathaniel Clyne, Mamadou Sakho, Dejan Lovren and Alberto Moreno are all replaced as Conor Randall Kolo Touré, Lucas Leiva (who also captains the side) and Brad Smith come in.
Already missing central midfielders Emre Can and Jordan Henderson through injury, Klopp has given Kevin Stewart his second consecutive Premier League start – he partners Joe Allen in the centre as James Milner
Sheyi Ojo also regains his place from last weekend, while there is a rare start for Jordon Ibe on the opposite flank, while Roberto Firmino sits behind Daniel Sturridge in attack.
Bournemouth, meanwhile make one change from the 2-1 win at Villa Park last week that all-but confirmed their Premier League survival for this season. Eddie Howe’s side sit in 13th place, and with an eleven point gap between themselves and Sunderland in 18th there is virtually no chance of them being sucked back into the relegation battle.
— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) April 17, 2016
Junior Stanislas returns to the staring lineup, with Lewis Grabban dropping to the bench in the only change from last Saturday.
In truth, it is a game of little consequence at this stage of the season. Nonetheless, both sides will wand to win and finish the domestic season as strongly as possible.