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Oxlade-Chamberlain returns to Liverpool training

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The long road to recovery is almost over for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

That sentence will be music to the ears of Liverpool fans.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 25, suffered a serious knee injury in the UEFA Champions League semifinal win against Roma last April and has been out for almost 10 months.

But the Reds revealed that the Ox took part in the first part of a team training session on Tuesday during their warm weather training camp in Marbella, Spain.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rhian Brewster, Ben Woodburn and Nat Phillips all took part in the session but James Milner, Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum did not take part.

Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez remained back in Liverpool with the former a big doubt for the upcoming game against Bayern Munich with a hamstring injury. That is not great news with Virgil Van Dijk suspended for the first leg versus Bayern on Feb. 19 at Anfield, thus meaning Joel Matip is Klopp’s only fit center back right now.

“The boys had to do a bit of core work, passing and the rondos and it’s nice [they could be involved],” Klopp said. “These things Ox can do, and Rhian can do, and Ben can do and Nat Phillips could do most of them. That’s all good. This afternoon they will have to do their own stuff again and hopefully we can integrate them step by step.”

The initial timeline for Ox’s return stated that he would miss the entire 2018-19 campaign. However, if he can return for the final few games of this campaign it would provide Liverpool with a huge boost in their battle for the title and a deep run in the UEFA Champions League.

The photo gallery below is well worth a flick through, as Klopp’s side went on a bike ride and the German coach looks to be lifting the spirits as his side have slipped off of top spot in recent weeks.

With Bayern and Manchester United in their next two games, Liverpool know a pivotal moment has arrived in their season.

Liverpool need to keep ‘staying professional’ over 90 minutes

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It’s very rare that Jurgen Klopp‘s post-match comments are outclassed by one of his Liverpool players, let alone two.

[ RECAP: Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth ]

But both James Milner and Andrew Robertson were effusive in praise after Liverpool battered Bournemouth 3-0 to reclaim the top spot on the Premier League table, with Klopp a bit more understated.

As he should be, perhaps.

“Some of the play was mesmerizing,” Milner said. “We could have scored more. The crowd was immense. There’s not many better in the country when it is like that. It’s like a 12th man.”

Milner said the club is not just dealing with injuries but sickness, and Klopp revealed in rather plain terms that clever goal scorer Georginio Wijnaldum was dealing with some intestinal problems.

The Reds scored thrice, through Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane, but Robertson was just as happy to see a clean sheet and the killing of a game after consecutive draws restarted the Premier League title race.

“We can’t rest on a 2-0 lead,” Robertson said. “Getting the third just killed the game. It was all about staying professional. If there were any point to prove then it was in our dressing room. We were good all over the pitch.”

As for Klopp, he praised the third goal and the club’s response to dropping points in consecutive matches. Liverpool has defeated Bournemouth 3-0 or 4-0 in each of its last four matches.

Liverpool needed a big win heading into a week which will see it host Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League before visiting Manchester United in the Premier League.

Liverpool back on track with Bournemouth blowout (video)

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  • Reds dominant in return to win column
  • Wijnaldum scores beauty (video)
  • Liverpool puts nine shots on target

Liverpool hammered Bournemouth for the fourth-straight time, scoring a 3-0 defeat to go back ahead of Manchester City on the Premier League table on Saturday at Anfield.

Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Mohamed Salah scored in the win, as all four matches have finished 3-0 or 4-0.

Liverpool and Man City are currently even in matches played, with City playing tomorrow.

Bournemouth sits 11th with 33 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Mane has been performing well in Liverpool’s lull, and made it 1-0 when he darted in front of Dan Gosling to put a header inside of the near post.

The goal made Anfield explode, a week of title consternation eased by the stadium’s heroes.

Wiljnaldum spun a classy chip over the top of Boruc to make it 2-0, an exquisite bit of work.

Mohamed Salah nearly put the match out of reach in the 45th minute, an inventive half volley nearly dipping over Boruc.

He would end it early in the second, with Roberto Firmino backheeling a Naby Keita set-up to Salah for a left-footed finish inside the 18.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

AT HALF: Exquisite Wijnaldum goal paces relieved Liverpool

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Sadio Mane‘s goal helped Anfield explode in collective relief, but Georginio Wijnaldum‘s artistic follow-up was the one for the highlight reels.

Watford 0-0 Everton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

An energetic if sloppy tangle between top half hopefuls is scoreless.

Liverpool 2-0 Bournemouth – NBCSN [STREAM]

Sadio Mane’s header opener allowed Anfield to breathe, and Georginio Wijnaldum’s goal gave it the chance to celebrate true beauty (above).

Southampton 0-0 Cardiff City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Saints with the loan shot on target of the half.

Crystal Palace 0-1 West Ham – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Mark Noble has converted a penalty in this week’s London Derby.

Huddersfield 0-2 Arsenal – CNBC [STREAM]

Playing without a handful of stars, Arsenal still has a first-half lead through Sead Kolasinac‘s cross to Alex Iwobi. Ainsley Maitland-Niles cued up Alexandre Lacazette for the second goal, just before halftime.

Premier League Preview: Liverpool v. Bournemouth

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  • Liverpool is on a club-record 33-game home unbeaten run
  • 2 goals for Salah in the next 4 games would make him the quickest to 50 PL goals
  • Bournemouth has lost 7 PL away games in a row

With four points dropped over their last two Premier League matches and Manchester City capitalizing, all eyes will be on Liverpool on Saturday as they host Bournemouth at 10:00 a.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

With a win over Everton on Wednesday, Man City took over the top spot in the Premier League on goal differential, but Liverpool can wrestle back the lead with any result this weekend. Still, fans will be looking for all three points in the hopes of keeping City and Tottenham at arms length.

Mohamed Salah in particular will be watched intently, with the Egyptian on a nine-goal burst over an eight-match span before Liverpool’s two game skid, in which he has not found the back of the net. Salah has not gone three league matches without a goal in his entire Liverpool career, and you have to track all the way back to his Roma career to find his last three-match stretch of league play without a goal, spanning the turn of the 2015/16 calendar year, a spell that was interrupted by both injury and international duty.

On the flip side, Salah can write Premier League history if he gets back on the scoresheet. Salah needs just two goals in his next four matches to become the quickest player to 50 goals with one club in Premier League history, topping Alan Shearer’s 66 games. He currently stands on 48 goals in 61 matches.

Liverpool has dealt with injuries aplenty over the last month, but they could return a core of players that have missed significant time. Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Trent Alexander-Arnold have all returned to training and are in contention to play on Saturday. Dejan Lovren, however, is not healed yet from his hamstring injury, while Joe Gomez is still missing with his broken leg, unsure of his return.

For Bournemouth, Callum Wilson and David Brooks are still missing with injuries, leaving 17 goals this season on the sidelines. Still, the Cherries are playing for European positioning in the Premier League table and could be motivated by the chance to jump as high as eighth with a win.

What they’re saying

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on the title race: “It’s getting exciting now. The only chance to improve our position, even though it is a good position, is by winning football games. I know that with each fibre of our bodies we will be ready to fight for everything. The only thing I want to say after the season is we gave our everything.”

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe on a potential season-defining win: “In the Premier League every game when we first came into the league was a case of rewriting history and proving we could do things for the first time. I think we tend to look at these things as a nice thing to do, to try and write new history for the club all the time.”

Video Preview

Prediction

Too much is on the line for Liverpool, at home, against a banged up offense and a porous defense on poor away form. It would be against all notions to pick against Liverpool in this match, and the Reds will come home with a convincing 3-0 win to put fans at ease before a key run of matches against Bayern Munich and Manchester United. Anything less than all three points in this match will instill serious doubt into their title chase.