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First team

Media view: Jamie Redknapp's Liverpool insight


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth will be looking to register a first win at Anfield when they face Premier League title hopefuls Liverpool.

Ahead of the game, afcb.co.uk caught up with Jamie Redknapp to get his expert opinion on Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Redknapp played for both clubs and moved from Dean Court to Anfield for a fee of £350,000 when he was just 17.

afcb.co.uk: How important is this game to Liverpool considering their recent run?

JR: Very important. Bournemouth are going to Anfield with not a lot to lose and games like this can sometimes be the hardest ones.

When I was trying to win the title with Liverpool, we lost at home to Coventry in one of our final few games of the season.

They were a really good side and we were incredibly nervous because Liverpool hadn’t won the title for a while.

The pressure is probably even greater now and, if Liverpool want to win the title, they are going to have to beat a very confident Bournemouth team.

afcb.co.uk: Would Liverpool supporters swap Champions League glory for winning the Premier League?

JR: I think they probably would. If you offered Liverpool fans the Champions League or the Premier League, I think they would take the Premier League because it’s been so long.

The last time they won the Champions League, they had a poor season in the Premier League and probably managed to win it because they were fresh.

There was also an element of luck and Stevie Gerrard pulled them out time and time again.

There is no luck in winning the Premier League. You have to have a whole season and it’s very demanding.

If you have a blip, you have to come back as quickly as possible. I imagine the Liverpool players are fed up of hearing about the 29-year wait. They want that Premier League title more than anything.

afcb.co.uk: Is the long wait for a top-flight title a millstone for the current squad?

JR: Yes, it probably is. I thought Virgil van Dijk was pretty brave recently when he said the fans had to stick with them and not get on their backs if they made mistakes.

There is an element to the fans being patient but it’s hard because they want it as well.

If you make a mistake and the fans get on your back, the pressure does transmit to the players. It’s inevitable and not everyone can handle that. Not everyone is of that strong mindset to say ‘well, I don’t care what the crowd think’.

There are times when it’s going to be difficult and that’s where patience is going to be key. Looking at it from Bournemouth’s point of view, if they could stay in the game for 25 to 30 minutes and not concede, that would make the crowd edgy.

afcb.co.uk: What are your thoughts on Jurgen Klopp? 

JR: Liverpool have only lost one game in the Premier League this season, which is pretty impressive.

You are going to have a slight wobble and can’t go unbeaten all season.

Players came back from the World Cup and some are going to start showing signs of fatigue.

Everyone is talking now about loaning Nathaniel Clyne to Bournemouth and I said it at the time, I thought it was a strange decision to let him go when you haven’t got an out-and-out right-back and I think that’s come at a cost.

The fans adore Klopp, he’s a very good manager and is going to have to really show that now. He’s going to have to keep his players as calm as possible.

Whether it’s right or wrong, when you’re a club of Liverpool’s size, you get judged on winning trophies and that’s what he needs to do.

afcb.co.uk: Who is Liverpool’s danger man? 

JR: I was at Vitality Stadium when Mo Salah got his hat-trick in December and he was devastating that day.

Liverpool have changed a little tactically and have played Salah as a striker more than out wide.

I preferred him wide because he has two or three men against him when he plays up front.

But he’s the one you have to stop. Eddie will know that but if you just worry about him, Sadio Mane can pop up with a goal as well. But Salah is the one because of his pace.

afcb.co.uk: What are your thoughts on the Cherries this season?

JR: It’s incredible what they have achieved, especially Eddie and his players.

I know they have gone to the next level in terms of expenditure and everything else but to beat Chelsea 4-0, sometimes you have to stand still and realise how impressive it is for a team and a club of Bournemouth’s size to achieve results like that.

It speaks volumes of the manager, the players and the club and that’s why sometimes you have to be careful the expectations don’t get too high.

The league is so difficult. You are going to have times when you lose a few games on the bounce and you can’t get too disappointed with that because that’s what happens.

Bournemouth have gone through that. They had a tough run of games and didn’t win for a while but have picked up a couple of excellent results recently.

afcb.co.uk: Liverpool haven’t lost at Anfield for a year and the Cherries have never won there – can they upset the odds?  

JR: One of the reasons everyone loves watching Bournemouth is because they don’t go to places like Liverpool and Manchester United and just sit back and soak up pressure, they attack.

Sometimes it is to their detriment and that’s why they will sometimes get done by the big teams away from home.

But I respect Eddie for that. He doesn’t change and I get why he doesn’t want to change. You would rather watch them than a team that just defends and sits back. You know they will try to attack.

I think Liverpool will edge it. But Bournemouth will create chances because of the way they play and, if they were to go a goal ahead, then you never know what could happen.

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