When AFC Bournemouth faced a crushing 9-0 defeat on their last visit to Anfield, not many people expected them to return to Liverpool the next year as a Premier League team.
The fact that the Cherries managed to dodge relegation with a few games left to spare was a credit to the efforts of Gary O’Neil, who took the reins after Scott Parker shook things up in the dressing room and boardroom with his candid remarks during a rocky start to the season.
Yet, despite his success, O’Neil was surprisingly handed his walking papers at the end of the campaign. AFC Bournemouth’s top brass decided to gamble by giving the job to former Rayo Vallecano coach Andoni Iraola.
With O’Neil now at Premier League rivals Wolves, it’s yet to be seen if the decision to hire Iraola will pay off. He began his tenure with a respectable 1-1 draw against West Ham last week.
Liverpool also started their season with a draw, holding Chelsea to a stalemate at Stamford Bridge – not a bad outcome considering Chelsea has become a stronger team after Mauricio Pochettino’s arrival.
However, it felt like a missed opportunity for Jurgen Klopp’s squad. After taking an early lead and having another goal scrapped by VAR (which ruined my bet for Mo Salah’s opening-day goal), the Reds couldn’t capitalize. Salah wasn’t thrilled about being subbed off, but Klopp now has more attacking options and isn’t as reliant on his star player.
The big shift this summer was in midfield with Henderson, Fabinho, Keita, Milner, and Oxlade-Chamberlain all leaving. Alexis Mac Allister and Dominic Szoboszlai were brought in to fill the gap, but Liverpool lost out to Chelsea for Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia. More newcomers are expected, but based on last weekend, Klopp needs to beef up his midfield for a championship run.
How the bookies view it It’s no shock to see Liverpool as huge favorites for this match at a top 1/4 with bet365, while AFC Bournemouth are at 11/1.
Recent head to head AFC Bournemouth avenged their 9-0 drubbing at Anfield last season with a 1-0 win on home turf in March. This broke a streak of seven straight Liverpool wins against the Cherries, who only managed one goal during that period.
Players to watch Darwin Nunez looked sharp coming off the bench last weekend and might start this game. After an uneven debut season at Liverpool, the Uruguayan is eager to make amends and is 7/5 anytime with bet365 anytime scorer.