It will be a historic night on Monday for The Cherries. Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side will be making the long trip up north to Anfield for their first ever league meeting with Liverpool. After their opening day party was spoiled by a Rudy Gestede header, Bournemouth will be looking to rebound and get their season started. However, a visit to Anfield will be a difficult task for the newly promoted side. Liverpool came through a very tough opening day visit to the Britannia with 3 points and a cleansheet. Phillipe Coutinho’s late strike made sure that Liverpool got the job done, without putting in an overly inspiring performance. Rodgers and his team will no doubt see the visit of Bournemouth as their opportunity to record a big win and boost confidence even more as they look to kick on from the poor season they had last year. The visit of a newly promoted side is never an easy task, especially this early in the season when everyone is fresh and raring to go. It will be interesting to watch Bournemouth try and cause one of the leagues biggest upsets and to see Liverpool really try and put a team to the sword and impress their fans and neutrals alike.
Liverpool’s injury list has the same names it had last week. There is no set return date for Joe Allen at this point. Daniel Sturridge is penciled in as 4 weeks away from a potential return to the side, which Liverpool fans will no doubt be counting down with growing anticipation. Jon Flanagan is still a long 4 months away from a recovery. The young defender’s knee injury continues to keep him in the physio room.
For the away side, Eddie Howe will be hoping that loan signing Christian Atsu is available for the trip to Anfield. Atsu is reported as being 2 days away from a return from injury. The same applies to midfielder Shaun MacDonald who is also 2 days away from a return. Midfielder Harry Arter however, will miss the trip to Liverpool. Arter is a week away from a return from injury.
- The two sides have never had a league meeting in their histories. They have only ever played against each other in cup competitions.
- Liverpool have never lost to AFC Bournemouth.
- Their last two meetings were both at Bournemouth. The two have not met at Anfield since 1968
- Bournemouth won the most away matches and collected the most points on the road of any other side in the Championship last season. They won 13 away games and collected 44 points
- Christian Benteke should make his home debut on Monday night. He heads into the game having scored 11 goals in his last 12 Premier League matches.
Top Goalscorers 2014/15
Liverpool: Steven Gerrard (9), Raheem Sterling (7), Jordan Henderson (6)
AFC Bournemouth: Callum Wilson (20), Yann Kermorgant (15), Matt Richie (15)
Chances Created 2014/15
Liverpool: Raheem Sterling (75), Jordan Henderson (66), Phillipe Coutinho (52)
AFC Bournemouth: Matt Richie (98), Simon Francis (72), Callum Wilson (62)
Average Defensive Actions 2014/15
Liverpool: Martin Skrtel (13), Dejan Lovren (10), Mamadou Sakho (8)
AFC Bournemouth: Steve Cook (10), Tommy Elphick (9), Simon Francis (7)
Liverpool: Phillipe Coutinho
It was a moment of magic from Coutinho that got Liverpool 3 points on the opening weekend. The game had been played out as both Stoke and Liverpool’s defence seemed to have cancelled each other out. But, some individual flair and a superb strike settled the game. That’s what will make the difference for Liverpool. Coutinho has the ability to turn a game on its head with either a shot like the one last week, a dribble or a cutting pass in the final third. After losing Suarez and then Sterling, Coutinho will be the one fans and the team will look to be their man to unlock defences for the side. Coutinho will be looking to improve on his 5 goals and 5 assists in the league last season. If he can double those numbers Liverpool could easily be looking at a more successful season than last. The first game of the season at Anfield, against a newly promoted side and fresh off the high of last week, Phillipe Couthino should be looking to stamp his authority on the game and once again prove why he is Liverpool’s new key man.
AFC Bournemouth: Callum Wilson
Bournemouth’s biggest issue in their opening day tie against Aston Villa was their inability to take the chances they created. The types of chances that you need to take when playing in this league. Last season Callum Wilson was their main man up top with 20 goals. If Bournemouth are to have any chance of surviving their first season up, they need Wilson to find the clinical form in front of goal that got them promotion last year. The step up from the Championship to the Premier League is notoriously difficult for strikers. That’s what made Charlie Austin’s form last season so impressive. If Callum Wilson can shoulder a lot of the goal scoring burden by getting into double figures for his side, their chances of safety are much greater than they if he continues to miss chances like last week. With their first ever league visit to Anfield on Monday, there may not be better place to get your first Premier League goal and with it the confidence to charge on for the rest of the season finding the net frequently.
The romantic in me wants to believe that Bournemouth could cause a huge upset on Monday night by getting a positive result at Anfield. However, its hard to seriously consider that as an outcome.
3-0 Liverpool Win
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