The final game of the 2nd round of fixtures in the 2015-16 Premier League sees new boys Bournemouth visit Anfield. There's a lot of hype surrounding Eddie Howe's men, but they struggled on the opening day as they lost 1-0 to Aston Villa. They will have to up the game here, but the trouble is, the opposition is significantly better this time around.
Bournemouth failed to carry their momentum into the new Premier League season as they went down 1-0 to Aston Villa last Saturday. A Rudy Gestede header was their undoing, but they did create chances, failing to put them away. Liverpool were triumphant, by the same scoreline, but they were far from convincing either, labouring to 3 points over Stoke City. Many expected the Potters to give the Liverpool backline a hard time, but they remained fairly solid with new signing Joe Gomez particularly impressing.
It was a moment of sublime quality from Phillipe Countinho that finally settled the game and the Merseysiders got off to the perfect start. They will look to continue that momentum as manager Brendan Rodgers' odds in the first manager to leave market gradually ease.
They are still missing Daniel Sturridge, Joe Allen and Jon Flanagan whilst Bournemouth have doubts over key midfielder Harry Arter. I think this match might be a little tighter than pundits are forecasting. Liverpool looked solid at the back and uninspired moving forward, a contrast to previous seasons whilst Bournemouth got forward in numbers, but failed to create any too meaningful. Eddie Howe will have to make sure his side are increasingly slick in the final third and that their defence marshalled by the experienced and savvy former Evertonian Sylvan Distin can keep tight rein on Christian Benteke.
I think it may be settled by a single goal, possibly 2 at the most and therefore Under 2.5 seems like the sensible play.
I don't think this will be the game in which one of Brendan Rodger's new strikeforce will get on the scoresheet. I do think the goal may come from midfield though. James Milner made positive impact last weekend and I certainly wouldn't put you off backing the former Villa man. I fancy Jordan Henderson to do the business as he is likely to take any spotkicks and it could be a gritty game which is settled by a penalty. He scored 4 goals at the end of the last season once he had settled and was a regular in the starting line up and I fancy him to notch here.
I think the Reds will win the match, I can't see Bournemouth getting off the mark here. Yes, Liverpool may have been very shaky last season, but they will be better this time around. I don't think they will romp it here, I think it will be nervy, tense and there will be little to cheer, but eventually they will get the job done.
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