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Dean Court,Bournemouth
Wednesday 17th Dec, 2014, 19:45 GMT 


Liverpool look to bounce back from defeat to Manchester United in the Premier League last weekend when they travel to Bournemouth for their quarter-final clash in the Carling Cup. The Merseysiders crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford on Sunday, having been knocked out of the Champions League by Basel five days earlier. After an impressive 2013-14 campaign in which they came agonisingly close to being crowned champions of England for the first time since 1990, Brendan Rodgers’ side have endured a poor start to 2014-15 and sit 11th in the top flight.

Bournemouth will attempt to inflict more misery on the out-of-sorts Premier League giants when the Championship leaders compete in a League Cup quarter-final for the first time. Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has worked wonders since returning to Dean Court following a second spell at Burnley and the south-coast club knocked out West Brom to reach the last eight. Howe is relishing the prospect of facing Rodgers’s men and believes that Liverpool’s current form will have little impact on the game tonight.

Team news and tactical brief

AFC Bournemouth

Sitting pretty at the top of the Championship table, as well as reaching this stage of the League Cup, Howe’s side have been one of the success stories of this season in English football so far. Bournemouth’s success in the Championship this season is based on a high-tempo, attacking style of play hallmarking their dominance. As a team Bournemouth play with fast wingers and overlapping attacking full backs. There is a big focus on the pace of wide men Matt Ritchie and Marc Pugh on the right and left wing respectively, while full-backs Simon Francis and Charlie Daniels provide support on either flank for Howe’s side. All midfielders have flexible roles to allow them to exploit space provided by the opposition. Ex-Norwich City man Andrew Surman is a key component in the Bournemouth midfield, while former Everton midfielder Dan Gosling may have a point to prove against his once-Merseyside rivals. Gosling is the driving force in midfield that can help Bournemouth springboard their attacks. Former Queens Park Rangers Tommy Elphick captains the side from centre-back, with his partner at the back, Steve Cook a formidable presence in the air.

Elsewhere, previous Premier League features Artur Boruc Andrew Surman, Junior Stanislas and Ian Harte could all hope to feature. Bournemouth are unbeaten in their last 12 matches and Howe must decide whether to start leading scorer Callum Wilson, who has been named among the substitutes in every tie of the club’s historic cup run so far. Bournemouth typically line up in a variation of a 4-4-2 formation, with Brett Pitman and Callum Wilson as the strike partnership. Pitman has scored five goals in 14 Championship appearances this season, while Wilson stands as the side’s top scorer, with 10 goals in 20 games. Howe has also utilised 4-1-2-1-2 and a 4-2-3-1 formation at times this season, and therefore could look to spring a tactical surprise on Wednesday. Expect Bournemouth to attack Liverpool’s flanks with pace and assurance, and Wilson to provide Liverpool’s centre-backs with a lot to think about at the Goldsands.

Probable Starting Line-up (4-4-2): Boruc(GK); Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels; Surman,Gosling, Ritchie, Pugh; Pitman, Wilson



Brad Jones is expected to continue in goal for Liverpool in place of Simon Mignolet, who was dropped at Old Trafford, while Johnson looks set to miss out with a groin problem sustained in Sunday’s defeat. The potential weaknesses in Bournemouth’s game are are being caught on the counter with the attacking full backs and not the tallest defence meaning set piece weakness. With Rodgers surely interested in using this competition to gain some much-needed support, an attacking Liverpool side is expected here. The likes of Lazar Markovic and Adam Lallana could be used as wide men, with the former’s pace in particular potentially devastating if Francis or Daniels get caught out of position. Furthermore, utilising Rickie Lambert, after a well-earned rest on Sunday, could take advantage of Bournemouth’s all-round aerial deficiency.

With Bournemouth’s strengths in the wide areas, Liverpool’s full-backs will need to be on top of their game, and with Rodgers likely to rotate his squad, Jose Enrique and Javier Manquillo will have their work cut out for them. However, if they remain focussed and try to play their counter-attacking game, Liverpool could secure a welcome victory at the Goldsands on Wednesday night. Mario Balotelli will be hoping for a recall to the starting line-up following an encouraging display after replacing Adam Lallana at half-time at the weekend. Mamadou Sakho is expected to make a return after a long term injury beside Martin Skrtel as Rodgers might rest Kolo Toure and Dejan Lovren ahead of Sunday’s clash against Arsenal. Lucas Leiva and Emre Can will be used as the double pivot in the 4-2-3-1 setup behind the trident of Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana and Phillipe Coutinho. Raheem Sterling would be expected to start on the bench and might come on if required. Up front Rickie Lambert could start ahead of the fit again Mario Balotelli.

Probable Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1):Jones(GK); Manquillo, Sakho, Skrtel, Enrique; Lucas, Can; Lallana, Markovic, Coutinho; Lambert

Key Facts

  • Liverpool FC and Bournemouth have only ever played each other in cup competitions
  • The Reds have scored in 14 of their last 15 League Cup quarter-final clashes (including replays)
  • Liverpool have won seven and lost none of their last 10 Capital One Cup matches (in normal and extra time) against lower ranked sides
  • The Cherries will be making their first ever appearance in the quarter-finals of the League Cup
  • Dan Gosling has scored four goals and provided one assist in four League Cup games this term
  • Liverpool have won six of their last seven away games in the League Cup, though they lost the most recent fixture against Manchester United in September 2013 (round three)
  • Bournemouth’s victory against West Brom in the previous round was their first win over a higher ranked side in 17 League Cup games (D6 L10)
  • Indeed, they’ve conceded in each of their last 12 League Cup games against sides from a higher division

Players to Watch Out For

Callum Wilson (AFC Bournemouth)

Callum Wilson is the top goalscorer for Bournemouth this season who has been in tremendous form, which led to him being deservedly called up to the England Under 21 squad. Wilson has a lot of pace and is a natural finisher.

Rickie Lambert (Liverpool)

Rickie Lambert was rested for the game against Manchester United and will be the favorite to start this game ahead of Mario Balotelli tonight. He could be vital to exploit Bournemouth’s aerial weaknesses tonight.


AFC Bournemouth 1–2 Liverpool

It will be a tough match for Liverpool against a high flying confident home side but Rodgers’ side should have enough to grind out a 2-1 win.

Blast From the Past

Liverpool scored a goal in each half to beat Bournemouth 2-0 in the FA Cup fourth round earlier this year.