Adam Lallana was named to the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in 2013-14 and represented England at the World Cup in Brazil.
But for the Liverpool midfielder, it all began at the Bournemouth academy as a youngster.
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Lallana, now 27, started his career in the Cherries’ youth setup before making a move to Southampton. He also spent a short loan spell at Bournemouth during their days in the third-tier of English football in 2007.
On Monday, Lallana will face his former club as the Cherries travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN or online via Live Extra).
Despite playing in the smallest stadium in the Premier League and penned to be fighting for survival all season, Lallana believes Liverpool must be wary of Eddie Howe’s men.
Speaking to Liverpool’s club website:
Perhaps no-one on the outside will expect them to get a win. Even when I played for Southampton in games like this, the pressure was off and you could go out an express yourself, so we need to be wary of that and put our stamp on the game in the right way.
We played against them last season in the League Cup and they’re a great club who try to play football in the right way.
They’ll be up for it, trying to get their first points on the board. As they’ve just come up, they’ll be anxious to get those points and that could drive them on even more, so it’s going to be a difficult game for us.”
Liverpool will be heavy favorites to get the win in their first home match of the season, but Lallana is right that the lack of pressure on Bournemouth will allow the visitors to play more freely. With Tottenham and Chelsea both dropping points this weekend, a win carries even more weight for the Reds tomorrow at Anfield.