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Bournemouth v Liverpool Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Up, Key Man + Prediction
Liverpool will be on the south coast on Saturday lunchtime to take on Bournemouth at Dean Court in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The Reds eased into this stage of the competition with a 2-0 win over Oldham Athletic at Anfield in the third round and will be looking to avoid a shock once again tomorrow after being dumped out the cup at this stage last season.
Bournemouth forced a replay the last time these two sides met in the FA Cup back in 1968 and they would earn themselves a money-spinning return leg at Anfield if they could hold the mighty Liverpool tomorrow.
The hosts beat Burton Albion in the previous round but head into the game in disappointing form having won just two of their last eight fixtures at home in all competitions and have shipped 45 goals in just 26 matches this season.
When you consider they’ll be up against the second highest scorers in the Premier League, it could be a long afternoon for Eddie Howe’s men unless they organise themselves at the back.
The only saving grace for Bournemouth is that Liverpool are expected to rest their big guns ahead of their midweek clash with Everton. That means the likes of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel are likely to be named among the substitutes.
Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Mamadou Sakho and Jose Enrique are all out but Jon Flanagan returned to training this week so could get a run out at right-back with Martin Kelly potentially moving in to the middle of defence alongside Kolo Toure.
Lucas Leiva is also on the sidelines with a knee injury and although Joe Allen is considered a slight doubt, he’s expected to start, while Luis Alberto is also in line for a rare run-out in midfield.
Victor Moses and Iago Aspas are expected to start in attack while Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling could retain their places.
Philippe Coutinho: If the Brazilian starts, much of the creative burden will be placed on his shoulders with Suarez and Sturridge likely to be rested. Coutinho hasn’t been at his best in recent weeks but this game provides him with the ideal opportunity to put in a morale-boosting display.
Bournemouth 0-2 Liverpool: Despite fielding a weakened side, we expect Liverpool to comfortably see-off their lower league opposition and book their place in the hat for the next round.
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