Liverpool v Bournemouth – Anfield at 20:00 live on Sky Sports 1
Bournemouth make the journey to Merseyside this evening for their first ever away Premier League fixture and they could be in for a tough time of it at Anfield.
The Cherries started their campaign last weekend at home to Aston Villa which ended in a 0-1 defeat, giving Eastbridge a winner on the Asian Handicap betting market after recommending Villa +0.5. Eddie Howe’s men went into the match as favourites, but despite controlling possession and creating more chances, they were not clinical enough in front of goal.
Bournemouth won the Championship last year, scoring 98 goals in their 46 matches, a great return, but the step up in class and in particular, taking chances is something that newly promoted sides often struggle with.
Howe will be disappointed with the result against Villa as he would have seen it as one they could have won. There were a lot of positive to take from the game and it’s important they keep their head up and not fear being taught a lesson by Liverpool.
The Reds opened their season with a win over Stoke at the Britannia Stadium last Sunday but it took a Philippe Coutinho screamer and 86 minutes to break the deadlock. There wasn’t much between the two sides and the Potters were unlucky to come away with nothing. It marked a significant improvement to the 6-1 thumping Liverpool endured on the last day of the season, but Rodgers will be expecting much more from his players, especially at Anfield.
Liverpool won 10 of their 19 home matches last term, drawing 4, losing 4. Tonight’s Asian Handicap betting line of -1.25 was covered in 4 of their 10 wins with 6 victories by a single goal. 21.1% of their results at Anfield ended 2-1, 15.8% finished 2-0. They scored the lowest amount of goals at home by any team finishing in the top 7, they also conceded the second most, just Tottenham leaked more.
Steven Gerrard was their top goal scorer in 2014/15 but has since departed for Los Angeles. Raheem Sterling, their next best in front of goal has also left, signing for Man City for £49M during the summer. Rodgers has re-invested that money however, and with the acquisitions of Milner, Benteke, Danny Ings and Lambert as well as Ibe and Coutinho improving all the time, they look a much better side than last year.
I expect Rodgers to dip back into the transfer market before the end of August to further strengthen his squad but I think they will finish outside the top 4 again this season.
I believe Bournemouth have a good chance of staying up but they will find it difficult early in the season and throughout the campaign at the bigger sides. They won’t see as much as the ball as they are used to in the Championship against Liverpool tonight so will need to be tactically sound, something I think they will struggle with.
Despite Liverpool’s record last season of only 4 wins by 2 goals or more at home, I make them good value to cover -1.25 this evening and make a statement in front of their fans.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Liverpool -1.25 at 2.12
Prices correct at time of writing.
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