Liverpool won’t pass up chance to launch Klopp era against Cherries

Liverpool entertain Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup fourth-round in a fixture that has altered its complexion from that of a serious banana-skin when the draw was made, to a prime opportunity for the Reds on the eve of the match.

The last time Eddie Howe brought promoted Bournemouth to Anfield for the Cherries’ second ever game in the Premier League, their performance deserved the three points which were controversially nabbed off them by an under-par Liverpool.

Erroneous officiating and the visitors’ failure to punish their more illustrious opponents with profligate finishing culminated in a classic top-flight lesson in cruelty for Howe and his men.

A few months later and the genuine air of optimism which accompanied the south coast club into their first Premier League campaign has begun to dissipate, where a string of injuries to key personnel has inevitably sent results nosediving.

Victims of successive 5-1 defeats, Howe’s heavily depleted Cherries look likely to gift Jurgen Klopp the first win of his Reds tenure, after Brendan Rodgers’ replacement oversaw draws in each of his first three matches.

Ladbrokes appear to be on a similar wavelength, casting the hosts as 2/5 favourites and their guests as 13/2-shots for an upset.

With Liverpool drawing a “ridiculous” amount of games (eight of their last nine in all competitions), according to suspended vice-captain James Milner, many punters would be excused for flocking to the 7/2 about yet another in the 90 minutes.

However, Klopp is canny enough to know what a win will do for the club and with some big players on the comeback trail the manager will have the luxury Howe doesn’t of fielding a very strong lineup.

Having honed his sights with 45 minutes of action and a bullet header against Southampton, Christian Benteke should be in from the start alongside fellow big-money addition Roberto Firmino, who finally showed some glimpses of his talents in a shorter cameo on Sunday.

Benteke has to be the most attractive proposition as a first goalscorer bet for the match, at 10/3, a bet which also qualifies for the boomakers’ Sharp Shooter* offer.

Considering Liverpool always seem to offer sides an obligatory goal regardless of the competition – the Reds have kept a single clean sheet in 11 and only one at Anfield all season – the firm’s price enhancement on the match looks peachy enough.

Liverpool winning and both teams scoring (within 90 minutes) will be enhanced from 7/4 to 9/4.

* Sharp Shooter T’s & C’s

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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