After an impressive 1-0 victory away at Stoke City on the opening weekend, Liverpool will host Bournemouth in their first home match of the 2015-16 Premier League season. Brendan Rodgers’ side played well in pre-season and showed signs of the future with their hard-fought, defensive display.
Meanwhile, Eddie Howe’s side fell 1-0 to Aston Villa in their first ever top flight game. While the Cherries were disappointed to lose after defending so astutely throughout the majority of the match, there were plenty of positives to take out of the clash. On paper, this may seem like an easy fixture but it is always difficult to face newly promoted sides early on in the campaign.
The bookmakers certainly make Rodgers’ men overwhelming favourites ahead of Monday’s game, with Coral offering 4/9 on Liverpool to earn back-to-back victories and many people will be backing the Reds at home against Eddie Howe’s side. Meanwhile, you can check out more information, statistics and news on both clubs, as well as the rest of the Premier League, on their website too. For now, you can read our preview of Monday’s clash below.
After his cameo role against Stoke City, Roberto Firmino could earn his full Liverpool debut behind Belgium striker Christian Benteke. The Brazil international, who signed from Hoffenheim earlier this summer, netted a hat-trick in a ‘behind closed doors’ friendly match with Welsh side at the start of the week and will be eager to make an instant impact at Anfield.
While there may not be many changes to the starting line-up, Liverpool could hand a surprise start to Emre Can. The youngster’s versatility means that he is an excellent squad player but could struggle to feature on a regular basis if James Milner and Jordan Henderson continue their fine form. Can played in a number of roles last season and is a more than competent footballer.
The Cherries were handed a reality check as Aston Villa took advantage of some sloppy defending to claim all three points at Dean Court last weekend. Rudy Gestede’s late header ensured that Bournemouth opened their campaign with defeat but will be relishing the opportunity to play at Anfield without any real pressure on their shoulders.
Bournemouth are still working on a deal to bring Crystal Palace striker Glenn Murray to the club but in the meantime, Callum Wilson may lead the line. Wilson was selected to start against Villa and his electrifying pace could cause problems for Liverpool. Meanwhile, former Everton midfielder Dan Gosling may receive a frosty reception if he is selected.
While Bournemouth’s enthusiasm and energy could cause problems for Liverpool, the Reds should have too much quality for Eddie Howe’s side and will look to kill the game off as quickly as possible. 3-0 to the hosts.