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Paul Merson predicts Liverpool v Bournemouth, highlights Achilles heel

By Amir Mir

Paul Merson has predicted Liverpool to draw 2-2 against Bournemouth at Dean Court on Sunday afternoon.

Sky Sports pundit Merson believes the game against Eddie Howe’s side is a “banana skin” as he backs the home team to cause an upset against the title chasers.

The Reds are a point behind leaders Chelsea in the Premier League table, with Antonio Conte’s men travelling to third place Manchester City in the early kick-off on Saturday afternoon.

Klopp’s side could find themselves as low as fourth by the time they play the Cherries, with Arsenal, who are two points behind Liverpool in fourth, taking on West Ham on Saturday evening.

Former Aston Villa midfielder Merson explained the factors behind the Merseyside club dropping points in the south coast.

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“This is an absolute banana skin for Liverpool,” Merson wrote in his Sky Sports column. “I guarantee this will be a difficult afternoon for them.

“Liverpool are carrying a few injuries and their squad isn’t massively deep.

“Bournemouth like to open the game up. Liverpool like to the open the game up. They’ll have a right go at each other. Goals will flow out of this one.

“Liverpool’s Achilles heel this season will be their defence. Although they keep clean sheets, teams create chances against them. Bournemouth do have a ruthless edge to them, so I can see them scoring twice. I’ll go Desmond again.”

Liverpool have scored a league high of 32 goals from 13 games this season and have conceded 14 goals to boot.

They have kept three clean sheets on the bounce in all competitions after they beat Leeds 2-0 in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup on Tuesday night.

The away side will be without playmaker Philippe Coutinho who went off injured during the 2-0 league victory against Sunderland last Saturday.

Brazilian Coutinho is expected to miss five weeks of action, which includes games against Everton, Manchester City and possibly Manchester United.

In other Liverpool news, Jurgen Klopp has given his verdict on this January loan deal.