ANFIELD, Sporting Alert – Liverpool hunt its second victory of the new Premier League season on Monday when they take on AFC Bournemouth at Anfield.
The Reds, who edged past Stoke City 1-0 in a difficult road trip last week, are hoping to make it two wins from as many starts and join the likes of Manchester City, Leicester City and Manchester United on six points at the top of the table standings.
Liverpool struggled during their opening home games last season – winning just four of the first 11 matches in the league, but with points expected to be tougher to obtain this campaign, manager Brendan Rodgers wants his side to start taking care of business early.
“Building confidence early on is important and building the vibrancy around the place,” he said on www.liverpoolfc.com.
“Winning early on is important to that. Home form is so important if you are going to improve.”
Newly promoted Bournemouth suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa in its opening game of season and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says the visiting team can expect another difficult contest as they seek to adjust to life in the Premier League.
“Eddie Howe is a good guy who I’ve got to know over a number of years. He will find every game in the Premier League is like a cup final,” the Reds boss warns.
“He and the Bournemouth squad deserve to be in the Premier League. Anfield is one of football’s iconic grounds and they will enjoy it.”
Monday’s game will pit these two sides together in league action for the first time, although they have met six times before in cup competitions.
In those previous meetings, Liverpool won four, with the other two ending in draws.
In the win over Stoke City last week, Brazilian attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho scored with a brilliant strike and Bournemouth’s boss Eddie Howe believes he will need to be attended to very closely in Week 2.
But the likes of Christian Benteke, James Milner, Nathaniel Clyne, Jordan Henderson and young Jordon Ibe will also be names the visitors will need to look out for in the Liverpool lineup.
Liverpool (squad): Bogdan, Mignolet, Clyne, Jose Enrique, Gomez, Lovren, Moreno, Sakho, Skrtel, Toure, Can, Coutinho, Henderson, Ibe, Lallana, Lucas, Markovic, Milner, Balotelli, Benteke, Borini, Firmino, Ings, Origi.
AFC Bournemouth (squad): Allsop, Boruc, Federici, Cargill, Cook, Daniels, Distin, Elphick, Francis, Mings, Smith, Ward, Atsu, Gosling, MacDonald, O’Kane, Pugh, Ritchie, Stanislas, Surman, Gradel, Kermorgant, King, Rantie, Tomlin, Wilson.
Referee: Craig Pawson Assistants: H Lennard, A Garratt Fourth Official: M Jones