Liverpool v Bournemouth Preview ( 19:45, Monday 17th August)
Liverpool play host to Bournemouth, with both teams coming into the fixture off the back of encouraging performances last weekend.
Brendan Rodgers always emphasises the importance of recycling possession and retaining the ball in his teams and this was no different last weekend, with Liverpool completing 378 passes. He’ll do well to warn his team of Bournemouth’s passing ability, though, as they completed 464 passes against Aston Villa (the third most in the league).
Two players who will be essential to either team’s chances of dominating possession will be Andrew Surman and Jordan Henderson. The duo completed 87 and 76 passes respectively in the last round of fixtures, which was the most for either side. Henderson is 41/10 with 888sport.com to score at any time on Monday.
Bournemouth’s centre-backs are likely to be wary of the aerial threat of Liverpool’s new signing Christian Benteke, with the striker likely to cause Tommy Elphick a real headache. Benteke demonstrated his excellent heading ability against Stoke as he won 64% of his aerial duels, whereas Elphick won 57%.
In centre midfield pairing Jordan Henderson and James Milner, Liverpool have an impressive engine room, with the duo capable of working their socks off for the sake of the team and the pair ran an impressive 12km and 11.1km respectively. In turn, Andrew Surman (11.1km) and Matt Ritchie (11km) topped the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for Bournemouth, and they’ll need to maintain these energy levels when they come up against Brendan Rodgers’ men on Monday.
Liverpool vs Bournemouth Match Facts:
Liverpool have never lost to AFC Bournemouth in six previous cup fixtures (W4 D2). This will be their first league meeting.
AFC Bournemouth’s two previous trips to Anfield to face the Reds have ended in a 4-1 defeat (FA Cup third round replays in 1927 and 1968).
No side won more away matches (13) or collected more points away (44) than AFC Bournemouth in the Championship last season.
Christian Benteke has scored 11 goals in his last 12 Barclays Premier League appearances.
Stats Courtesy: Premierleague.com
Liverpool vs Bournemouth Predicted Lineup
Predicted Liverpool starting XI: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Gomez, Milner, Can, Henderson, Coutinho, Firmino and Benteke.
Predicted Bournemouth starting XI: Boruc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Mings, Ritchie, Gradel, Surman, Gosling, Kermorgant and Wilson.
Liverpool 3 Bournemouth 0
Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars with at http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ or with FIFA Ultimate team.