Liverpool take on Bournemouth on Wednesday night in the League Cup fourth round with a place in the quarter-finals the prize for the winners.
Liverpool v Bournemouth
28th October 2015, 19:45pm (GMT)
League Cup Fourth Round
Referee: Mike Jones
After three straight draws, Jurgen Klopp goes in search of his first win as Reds boss when Liverpool host Bournemouth for the second time this campaign.
The German takes charge of his third Anfield fixture in six days against the Cherries – a game that will see his side play for the fourth time in just 11 days.
Another difficult fixture awaits against Eddie Howe’s men who proved tough opposition on their Anfield visit of August, and Klopp’s Reds will need a strong performance in order to book their place in the quarter-finals.
Recent Record vs. Bournemouth
Having not commenced battle since 1968, the Reds have faced the Cherries on three occasions in the last two years alone, with Wednesday set to be the fourth since January 2014.
Liverpool have recorded wins in all three of the recent meetings which have coincidentally come in three separate competitions.
The first saw a 2-1 FA Cup win at Dean Court thanks to goals from Victor Moses and Daniel Sturridge, while the Reds also claimed a 3-1 victory in the only previous League Cup meeting, courtesy of Lazar Markovic and Raheem Sterling’s brace.
The most recent clash was of course the narrow 1-0 league win in August which the Reds were somewhat fortunate to claim three points through Christian Benteke’s first Liverpool goal.
Before the recent flurry of action the clubs had met just four times in 41 years, and in the seven meetings in total from the first in 1927 to that of two months ago, Bournemouth have never beaten Liverpool.
Eddie Howe’s side will be looking to record a historic first on Wednesday night.
After an impressive start to the season, Bournemouth arrive on Merseyside in a period of struggle.
The Cherries have won one of their last seven games, claiming only one point from their last four, and they enter Anfield off the back of successive 5-1 defeats against Man City and Tottenham.
Howe’s men have conceded double the amount of the goals Liverpool have in the Premier League as a result, but have also found the net on two more occasion than the Reds so far.
In contrast to the Reds who made a real mess of overcoming League Two side Carlisle in the last round, Bournemouth have come through two rounds to reach this stage.
Howe’s side saw off fellow League Two outfit Hartlepool with a 4-0 win in round two before disposing of League One Preston on penalties in round three.
They will hope their League Cup journey doesn’t end on Wednesday against a Liverpool side who have drawn eight of their last nine matches in all competitions.
Form Guide (Last 10 games – all competitions):
Liverpool – LDDDWDDDDD
Bournemouth – WWDLWDLDLL
A first victory under Klopp on Wednesday night for the Reds is priced at 4/9, with the Cherries coming in as rank outsiders at 6/1 and a draw available at 7/2.
The Cherries have been hit hard by some terribly bad luck with injuries to six important players, no doubt coinciding with their drop-off in form.
£8million signing Tyrone Mings was lost to a serious knee injury, while fellow summer arrival, Max Gradel, and key striker, Callum Wilson, both suffered desperately unfortunate ACL injuries.
Captain, Tommy Elphick, is also a long-term absentee along with midfielder, Harry Arter, while £5million signing Lee Tomlin has also been out but is close to returning.
It means a depleted Bournemouth will take to the Anfield surface but it’s still a team the Reds must be wary of.
Howe has played a traditional 4-4-2 and he has stuck to operating with two up top despite a big step up to the next level.
Glenn Murray and Josh King have led the line in recent weeks and the pair could do so again, while a close eye must be kept on chief-creator Matt Ritchie who has instantly impressed on the Premier League stage.
The Reds know full well the threat the visitors pose, but having conceded 10 goals in their last two games there’s no better night for Klopp’s men to sharpen their attack find their goal-scoring boots.
What the Managers say
Ahead of his first League Cup clash, Klopp said:
I’m not here long enough to understand English cups. For me it’s all the same – I want to win games.
It’s the most important cup in the world because it’s the game we have to play tomorrow.
Cherries assistant manager, Jason Tindall, said prior to the Anfield trip:
You have two teams that haven’t won their past few games, so it’s going to be a tough game.
Off the back of two defeats you want to win your next game as soon as possible. This is our chance to do that.
In keeping with all three of Klopp’s first matches, the game will be shown live again, this time on Sky Sports 1 (UK).