Bournemouth have steadied the ship in the league and have enough confidence to make visitors Liverpool wait for the win in their FA Cup Fourth Round clash.
After a dismal run during the autumn where they only managed two points from six games Eddie Howe’s barmy army have responded well with only one defeat in their last six.
A 4-1 victory over Burton in the Third Round was perhaps expected but the Cherries knew they were almost certain to get a prize draw against Liverpool next up and so there was no shortage of pressure to make sure of the win.
They achieved that in fine style and although goals have been hard to come by in the league recently –they have only notched three in their last four – they have also shown a resilience that will be crucial if they are to be competitive against the likes of Suarez and co.
Brendan Rodgers’ side have scored in all but two of their away games this campaign and worryingly for the home side they managed to put five past Stoke the last time they were on the road.
However, there were clear signs that the level that nearly put the Reds on top of the league at Christmas had dipped at home to Aston Villa last time out and that will be a useful source of encouragement for the underdogs.
Liverpool were dreadful for much of the first half against the Villans and Bournemouth fans will be dearly hoping that they are afforded another sluggish start from the seven-time FA Cup winners.
A lot will depend on the team Rodgers decides to play as if both Suarez – who already has 22 goals in the league this year – and Sturridge (11 PL goals) play it’s difficult to see Bournemouth escaping the tie without a drubbing.
However, the Uruguayan only played for the last quarter of the match against Oldham, brought on when the game was only 1-0 and so logic would dictate that Rodgers won’t to risk his main asset unless he feels forced to.
It would be a major shock if Bournemouth were to reach the Fifth Round. However, with home support and considering their opponents’ last first-half performance it would also be surprising if they rolled over in the first 45 minutes.
As a result the advice is to back Liverpool to win but only after the teams have gone in all-square at half-time, currently priced at 3/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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