EFL Cup Clash: Reds Journey to the South Coast

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Bournemouth v Liverpool – The EFL Cup Preview

As the English Football League Cup enters the round of 16, this upcoming tie sees Liverpool travel to the south coast for their match against fellow Premier League side, Bournemouth. The reds are among the favourites for this year’s secondary domestic cup, with ambitions to replicate their cup double of two seasons ago. Luis Díaz has continuing personal issues that have seen him return to Columbia, therefore will not feature on Wednesday evening.

The Bournemouth Availability

On the injury front, Tyler Adams, Ryan Fredericks, Emiliano Marcondes Camargo Hansen, and Norberto Murara Neto, are all out, whereas Lewis Cook is serving a suspension. The Cherries boss, Andoni Iraola, will be overseeing his second meeting with the Merseyside giants this year, with their mid-August trip to Anfield ending in a 3-1 loss to Jürgen Klopp’s fourth placed side. That fixture saw Alexis Mac Allister wrongly sent off, though that did not stop his team recording a comfortable home win. In terms of recent form, Bournemouth won 2-1 at the weekend, as they managed to see off visiting Burnley. That win came after three straight losses, as a home 0-4 drubbing by Arsenal was followed by a very disappointing 3-0 loss, away to Everton. In between the games against the Toffees and Burnley, saw another home defeat ensue, as they lost 1-2 to Wolves. That is the game where Lewis Cook caught a straight red card, of which the three-game ban is still being served. The Premier League strugglers currently languish in 16th position, with a mere six points taken from their ten games played. After this contest with Liverpool, they travel to Manchester City for a Saturday afternoon kick off, in what will no doubt prove a difficult few days ahead.

Below is my predicted line up.

GK – Ionuț Radu

RB – Adam Smith

RCB – Chris Mepham

LCB – Illia Zabarnyi

LB – Milos Kerkez

CDM – Joe Rothwell

CDM – Philip Billing

RM – David Brooks

ACM – Dango Ouattara

LM – Luis Sinisterra

CF – Justin Kluivert

The Liverpool Availability

In terms of injures, Thiago Alcântara and Stefan Bajčetić remain on the injured list, alongside long-term absentee, Andy Robertson. As mentioned above, our Columbian flyer, Luis Díaz, will remain unavailable for the foreseeable future. The reds have surged into form since the most recent international break, with the weekends game seeing them comfortably beat visiting Nottingham Forest, 3-0. That one sided victor came after their home Europa League tie, one which saw a strong side record a crushing 5-1 win against Ligue 1 club, Toulouse. The solid 2-0 win against Everton last weekend completes the trio of Anfield wins, in a strong week for the reds. With 23 points taken from ten games played, Liverpool currently sit fourth in the league, just three points off top spot.

Below is my prediction on the starting eleven.

GK – Caoimhin Kelleher

RB – Joe Gomez (c)

RCB – Joël Matip

LCB – Jarell Amorin Quansah

LB – Luke Chambers

RCM – James McConnell

CDM – Wataru Endō

LCM – Ryan Gravenberch

RW – Harvey Elliott

CF – Cody Gakpo

LW – Curtis Jones

How Will This Contest Play Out

The reds will have momentum and players eager to impress their manger, as players continue to be rewarded if in form. As with any away trip (in the cup) there is likely to be varying moments for each side, especially given each respective coach will enforce a raft of changes to their starting line ups. Bournemouth sit just one place outside of the relegation places, whilst having a trip to the Etihad to come on Saturday, something that means his side will be facing off against two of the countries most feared sides in just four days. With the pressure of Premier League survival looming, I can see a less pressurised Liverpool team creating more opportunities and showing more rhythm within their second string eleven. The likes of Cody Gakpo, Harvey Elliott, and Ryan Gravenberch, should prove too much for the home team with varying avenues to goal unfolding. I am keen to see how Justin Kluivert fares, as this game may represent a chance for the former Roma forward to grab a first team shirt, especially if his Spanish manager opts to rest former Anfield striker, Dominic Solanke.

Player to watch – Harvey Elliott


Score Prediction;

Bournemouth 1 – 2 Liverpool

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