Premier League Preview: Liverpool vs. Bournemouth

0 Comments
  • This is their first-ever league meeting 
  • Bournemouth last visited Anfield in 1968, they lost 4-1 in FA Cup
  • Liverpool have only lost 1 of last 36 games vs. newly promoted teams

Bournemouth make its first-ever trip to Anfield for a league match on Monday, as the Cherries face Liverpool (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

Eddie Howe’s side lost 1-0 to Aston Villa on the opening day, but dominated that match for large periods in their first-ever Premier League game. This match will be an enitrely different proposition for the south coast club.

[ WATCH: Stream every PL game via Live Extra ]

Brendan Rodgers has strengthened Liverpool considerably over the summer and even though they labored to a 1-0 win at Stoke City to open up their campaign, the signs are encouraging for the Reds as they look to challenge for a top four spot following a disappointing sixth-place finish last year.

[ MORE: Standings | schedule | stats ] 

In team news, Liverpool is unlikely to make changes to the side who beat Stoke although Brazilian winger Roberto Firmino is pushing to make his first start. As for Bournemouth, Tyrone Mings could come in to make his debut but midfielder Harry Arter and winger Christian Atsu are likely to miss out through injury.

What they’re saying

Rodgers admits players likely to leave: “I think it’s natural at this stage of the season, there will be moves I’m sure for some players. What’s clear is that every player has the understanding of exactly where they stand within the squad. The spirit is strong, it’s fine but of course it’s a difficult situation because of the transfer market and it’s still open until the end of this month. There’s always going to be that speculation but I’m sure there will be some movement, obviously, of some of the players that want to play.”

Eddie Howe on Liverpool’s strength in-depth: “This will be possibly the best Liverpool team Brendan has put together. He has very talented individuals and has had longer to work with the players so they will be in tune with what he wants to do. Liverpool will be competing for the top places in the league so this is going to be one of our hardest games of the season. We have to make sure we turn up.”

Prediction

Okay, we can all agree this should be an easy home win and it probably will be. But… I predicted this would be a shocking 2-2 draw in my Week 2 picks and I’m sticking by it. Sure, Liverpool will dominate the game, but Bournemouth is unlikely to be overawed and if they score early it will really open the game up. Liverpool’s defense could be a little nervous in front of the expectant home fans and the Cherries have the likes of Max Gradel and Callum Wilson who will capitalize on any mistakes. Score draw.