Liverpool vs Bournemouth – Premier League preview and team news

Liverpool will be targeting their second win from as many Premier League games as they face a Bournemouth side that is eager to prove they belong at this level following their meteoric rise over the last six years.

It was hardly a performance bursting with fluency and flair, but Liverpool made the ideal start with victory at Stoke City, in doing so gaining revenge for the mauling they suffered at the same ground on the final day of last season. Neither side looked likely to win it for the most part as defences were largely on top, but thankfully for the Reds they have a player in Philippe Coutinho who is earning a reputation for producing moments of brilliance like his 87th minute goal in the Potteries.

In terms of the new signings, James Milner slotted in well alongside new captain Jordan Henderson in the midfield, while Joe Gomez had a solid enough debut after being a surprise choice to start at left-back ahead of Alberto Moreno. As for record buy Christian Benteke, he received little in the way of service, but here he will relish the physical battle with the two Bournemouth centre-backs, Steve Cook and Tommy Elphick.

Eddie Howe’s men got off to a positive start against Aston Villa in their top-flight bow, but were unable to conjure up a goal to show for it as Callum Wilson failed to score with their most presentable opportunity. They did not quite pose the same level of threat in the second half and will have been disappointed to lose via a set-piece goal, their first lesson regarding the fine margins that often decide matches at the highest level.

They will come to Anfield with no fear, however, and will not show Liverpool too much respect by adopting a defensive setup and only looking to play on the counter-attack. The pace of Wilson should cause problems for the home defence in a game that carries plenty of intrigue, with many keen to find out how the Cherries go about acquitting themselves when they visit the bigger clubs.

Roberto Firmino will be pushing for his first Liverpool start after coming off the bench late on at Stoke, but Joe Allen is still out with a hamstring injury.

Bournemouth are hoping to have Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu and central midfielder Harry Arter available. Recent signings Max Gradel and Lee Tomlin could make their first Premier League starts.

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