Bournemouth — Liverpool (FA Cup)
Saturday, at Dean Court, Liverpool and Bournemouth met in celebration of the FA Cup. The Reds will be looking to get past their recent League failure. For the Championship side it’s a one-time chance to beat the odds, even if they are face to face with one of the most devastating attack forces of the Premier League. Can they hold them back?
Bournemouth haven’t won a Championship tie since Boxing Day when they have beaten Yeovil Town 3-0. They had three 1-1 stalemates with Ipswich Town, Brighton & Hove Albion and Watford and a 3-0 loss to Wigan Athletic. Eddie Howe’s side are in 16th place with 31 points and a 8W-7D-11L track-record.
In round 3 Bournemouth beat League Two outfit Burton Albion 4-1, at home. Pitmann’s brace with Elphick and Frasier’s goals sealed the deal.
The Cherries have no casualties to report.
Probable line-up: Lee Camp — Simon Francis, Tommy Elphick, Elliot Ward, Charlie Daniels — Matt Ritchie, Eunan O’Kane, Harry Arter, Marc Pugh — Andrew Surman— Lewis Grabban.
Brendan Rodgers is facing an injury crisis. Prior to the 4th-round FA Cup fixture he confirmed that Lucas Leiva — who sustained knee ligament damage against Aston Villa — will be out for a “few months”, two at least. Leiva is the men that instils movement in the squad, with his capacity to hold the ball and decide when and where to place it. He’ll be missed, I’m afraid. Rodgers also referred to Glen Johnson as being ruled out for an “indefinite” period due to several distinct injuries. The defender has been playing through fitness issues for a long time and finally his body gave in, he’ll need to stop for a while to fully recuperate. They’ll join Sebastián Coates, Daniel Agger (calf), Jose Enrique (knee), Mohamed Sakho and Jon Flanagan (both hamstring) in the unavailable list. No wonder Rodgers had only 15 men training under him this past days. Talking about lack of depth would be an huge understatement and redundant. It’s obvious since the season started. The thing is now Liverpool are dealing with a merry-go-around king of issue. Few options forces key players to accumulate game time, which stress muscular fatigue and joint damage that cause injuries that in turn highlight poor alternatives. The Manager is keeping an eye in the transfer window but Liverpool are not City or Chelsea, they have to thread careful or they’ll see bigger fish snatch their selected targets. Mohamed Salah is gone, let’s see what else might the winter market bring to Anfield Road.
Last Saturday the Reds were held to a 2-2 draw by Aston Villa at Anfield thus allowing the Spurs to caught up with them, both with 43 points. Luckily for Liverpool Everton stumbled too or they would have been leapfrogged.
Probable line-up: Jones— Kelly, Skrtel, Touré, Cissokho — Henderson, Gerrard, Luis Alberto — Aspas, Sturridge, Sterling.
Bournemouth and Liverpool met twice for FA Cup rounds in 1927 and 1968, both times the same exact thing happen. At home the Cherries secured a draw that forced the Reds to a replay-game the Merseysiders won 4 to 1. How about that?! What are the odds history repeats itself half a century later?