16 Aug 2015

LFC XI vs. Bournemouth: £64m-trio out? Exciting attacker in? Surprise start for Teixeira

Game 02: Liverpool face Bournemouth on Monday evening, and with a series of tough games to come, it's a great chance for the Reds to build some early-season momentum. On paper, the Reds have a vastly superior team, but this is the Premier League, and that often counts for nothing. However, the game is at Anfield, and any team with genuine top-four ambitions must beat newly-promoted teams at home.

As I see it, Rodgers has the following issues to contend with:

* Defence: Should Sakho return to the starting line-up? The defender is fit and available, but after keeping a clean sheet against Stoke, it's likely that Rodgers will stick with the Skrtel/Lovren axis. A settled back-line is vital to defensiv solidity, so it's a good idea to keep the same back-four.

* Lucas: Rodgers dumped Lucas from the match-day squad last week, but will he return against Bournemouth? To the bench perhaps, but it's unlikely that he'll start the game.

* Lallana: the £26m signing put in a poor performance against Stoke, and if Rodgers has any sense, he'll drop the England man to the bench. Liverpool looked much more assured with Emre Can on the field, so he should start the game. Ditto Markovic.

* Teixeira: Is Rodgers finally going to give the attacker a chance in the Premier League? After a great pre-season, he definitely deserves it, but it'll be a major surprise if the Portuguese gets anywhere near the first-team.

Taking everything into consideration, I expect Rodgers to start with the team that finished the game against Stoke:

------------------ Mignolet

Clyne ------- Skrtel --- Lovren --------- Gomex

-------------------- Can

------------- Milner -- Hendo

---------- Firmino ------ Coutinho

------------------ Benteke

Whatever team Rodgers puts out, there's absolutely no excuse not to win this game. Bournemouth's entire first team costs less than Dejan Lovren, and if Liverpool have any hope of getting into the Champions League, then games like this need to be won.

Predicting a 2-1 win for Liverpool, Anfield legend Mark Lawrenson told the BBC:

"Cherries boss Eddie Howe likes everyone to bomb on and get forward and cause problems down the other end but is he going to go to Anfield and play that way? That would be very brave if he does"


My prediction: 3-1 to LFC. You have until one hour before kick-off to get your predictions in!

Author: Jaimie K


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