Mohamed Salah eyes Anfield history and other facts as Liverpool host Bournemouth

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Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool side will play hosts to Bournemouth on Saturday.

After sealing a place in the Champions League semi-finals, Liverpool will be hoping to continue their good form and keep piling up pressure on second-placed Manchester United.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth will know what challenge lies ahead of them as they face an on-song Reds.

Here, we take a look at some interesting match facts and stats prior to the game.

– Liverpool have won three of their five previous Premier League meetings with Bournemouth (D1 L1), including a 4-0 win in the reverse fixture in December.

– Bournemouth have only won one of their 12 previous meetings with Liverpool in all competitions (D3 L8), winning 4-3 at the Vitality Stadium in December 2016.

– There have been 19 goals scored in the five previous Premier League meetings between these sides, at an average of 3.8 per game.

– Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 18 Premier League home games (W11 D7), the longest current run in the division, and the Reds’ longest run since August 2009 (31 games).

– Bournemouth have won a league-high 18 points from losing positions in the Premier League, including five from the last three in the competition (W1 D2).

Jermain Defoe celebrates a goal with his Bournemouth team mates.

Jermain Defoe celebrates a goal with his Bournemouth team mates.

– The Cherries have only won two of their 17 away games against ‘big six’ opponents in the Premier League (D2 L13), with both wins coming at Chelsea (December 2015 and January 2018).

– Mohamed Salah is just one goal away from becoming the eighth different player to score 30+ goals in a single Premier League season – he’d also be the first African to do so.

– 17 of the Egyptian’s Premier League goals this season have come at Anfield – the last Liverpool player to score more at home in a single campaign was Fernando Torres in 2007-08 (21).

– Josh King has scored in his last two Premier League games for Bournemouth, last netting in three in a row in March 2017.

– Roberto Firmino has had a hand in four goals in his last four Premier League games against Bournemouth (2 goals, 2 assists), including a goal and an assist in the reverse fixture.

Statistics provided by Opta

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Chelsea look to Cesar Azpilicueta and Alvaro Morata combo and other facts for Southampton trip

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Chelsea will face Southampton away at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.

Antonio Conte‘s men are on the verge of missing out on a Champions League spot, while their opponents are struggling in the relegation zone of the Premier League table.

Here we take a look at some interesting match facts and stats ahead of what is an important fixture for both teams, for different reasons.

– Saints have only won one of their nine Premier League games against Chelsea at St Mary’s Stadium (D2 L6), winning 2-1 in March 2013 thanks to goals from Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert.

– Only Manchester United (10) have won more away games at St Mary’s Stadium in all competitions than Chelsea have (7).

– The Blues have won their last four league games against Southampton – they’ve never won five in a row against them.

– Since the start of 2016/17, Southampton have failed to win any of their 22 Premier League matches against sides starting the day in the top six (D8 L14).

– Chelsea have won only one of their last four Premier League games in which they’ve scored first (D1 L2) – prior to this, they’d won 22 games consecutively when scoring first.

Mark Hughes giving instructions to his team.

Mark Hughes giving instructions to his team.

– Similarly, Southampton have now failed to win any of their last six Premier League games when scoring first (D4 L2), losing last time out away at Arsenal despite taking the lead.

– Mark Hughes has lost his last four games against Chelsea as a manager (all with Stoke), with his sides conceding 15 goals in that run.

– However, Hughes could become the third manager to beat Chelsea in the Premier League with four different clubs (after Roy Hodgson and Sam Allardyce), having previously beaten them with Blackburn, Man City and Stoke.

– Cesar Azpilicueta and Alvaro Morata have now combined for seven Premier League goals this season – in only one previous season have two Chelsea players combined for more (Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba in 2005-06, 8).

– Charlie Austin has scored four goals in his last four Premier League appearances at St Mary’s, though he’s not played there since December.

Statistics provided by Opta

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte not focused on next season amid departure rumours

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has revealed he is not preparing for next season as speculation over his future continues.

He has also insisted that his players must share the responsibility for the decline that means last season’s Premier League champions are unlikely to qualify for the Champions League this year.

The Italian’s future has been the subject of uncertainty throughout the season, during which he has criticised the club’s transfer policy, while Napoli’s Maurizio Sarri is the latest manager to be linked with Conte’s position.

Chelsea can still win the FA Cup but are 10 points off the top four with only six league fixtures remaining, and their manager distanced himself from the responsibilities he believes lie with the club.

After repeatedly insisting he was not in a position to discuss his future plans for his squad, Conte was asked if he was preparing for next season.

He paused before responding: “The most important thing is to be focused on the present. Then there is the club who, for sure, are working for the future.

“There is a situation where we have to think about the present, to work very hard and try and improve your future.

Eden Hazard reacts after Chelsea concede a goal.

Eden Hazard reacts after Chelsea concede a goal.

“It is very difficult to talk about the future. Now we must be focused on the present to try and finish the season as strongly as possible. This must be our target.

“Now it’s not right to see forward because the present is very important for us. More important than the future.
“We have to finish this season. We have six games in the league. We have a semi-final in the FA Cup. Then will come the time to speak about the future.”

On Saturday the Blues visit relegation-threatened Southampton in the Premier League, eight days before the clubs meet at Wembley in an FA Cup semi-final.

Conte, who remains without the injured David Luiz and Ethan Ampadu, said: “When you have this type of season you have to share this responsibility. I’m the coach. I’m the coach of this team. I’m the first person to take my responsibility. But, for sure, I’m not alone.

“We made a lot of mistakes this season. When I talk about a lot of mistakes, I involve me, my staff, the players and the club.

“When we win or when we lose, we must be ready to share the responsibility. I’m the first to take my responsibility. Then there is the club. Then there is the players.

“If we don’t qualify for the Champions League, it means that we have to divide the fault, also with the players.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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