Liverpool got their season off to a much needed brilliant start last weekend away to Stoke. Where rivals Arsenal and Chelsea both squandered points against Swansea and West Ham, the Reds secured maximum advantage. History suggest that a good start is crucial for Brendan Rodger’s men to take something away form the season ahead. Maintaining momentum is important and this continues at home against new boys, AFC Bournemouth.
Rodgers has been very suggestive in his build up to Monday evening’s game with it being extremely likely that new singing, Roberto Firmino will be handed his first start in a Liverpool shirt. This bodes well for the fluidity of attack that will be on display at Anfield tomorrow night. The Brazilian will likely come in to replace Adam Lallana who, despite an outstanding pre-season, looked out of touch and didn’t link defence to attack capably at all.
There has been much speculation over the future of Alberto Moreno’s future after the Spaniard had been dropped for Joe Gomez. Rodgers has reassured fans that there is no need to panic.Also rumored to leave after a poor pre-season and exclusion from the starting lineup at Stoke is Serbian, Lazar Markovic.
“They know very well with conversations we have had that it is a long season and they will certainly be needed,” he said at a press conference. Gomez is only 18 years-old and likely to be in need of a rest at some point at which point Moreno will be reinstated and have his chance to prove himself.
“Both players are talented players, that’s why they came here. For the first time in their careers maybe, they find themselves not being a regular.
“It’s about taking the opportunity when it comes along and playing well and keeping it. I’m sure they will both be ready when the opportunity comes.”
This is a game where new striker, Christian Benteke will be desperate to score in. He wasn’t able to grab a goal on his competitive debut but he will be pleased with the presence that he created up top that was completely lacking last season for Liverpool. Given the difference in opposition between Bournemouth and Stoke the Belgian is likely to get more opportunities in front of goal and I back him to put them away. His record at Aston Villa of 49 goals in 100 appearances is one that is commendable and one to be excited about.
I predict that Liverpool will dominate in midfield playing with a midfield three of James Milner and Jordan Henderson playing just ahead of Emre Can. If Liverpool control the pace the of the game and make sufficient chances, likely to come through Philippe Coutinho, then the Reds will comfortably secure their first home win of the season.