Friday, 15 April 2016

Have AFCB the players to overpower this Liverpool side?

If Eddie Howe wanted any clues about how to get on top of this Liverpool side he will have learnt valuable guidance from last night's amazing match against Borussia Dortmund. The German side played with power and fast accurate passing in the opening minutes, while their finishing in those first 10 minutes was simply lethal. It was breathtaking and somewhat unexpected, despite the reputation of the Bundesliga side, as the first leg has been reasonably comfortable for the reds. The comeback for Liverpool was a repetition of their famous Champions League final win over AC Milan in Istanbul in 2005. Klopp fist pumping though is something I don't want to see at Den Court on Sunday!
Liverpool play with a lot of pride and they are a hard side to beat
 these days. I only hope they are tiered from their midweek exploits.
AFCB might not have quite the experience of player as Dortmund, but there are some signs that a quick start is what the Cherries will need to unsettle the Klopp's side. The back four of Clyne, Lovren, Sakho and Moreno were fully stretched by the movement of Dortmund's forwards and their failure to get close to the German side made it all too easy for Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan early on. I can't say that Mignloet in goal fills me with confidence in goal either.

So the Cherries can look to get at Liverpool, but it was through the middle that the German's got on top and for that side of the game AFCB really need Harry Arter back in the side. I still expect him to sit out this game though - apparently AFCB are waiting on a specialist report on his injury. AFCB have usually looked light in midfield when taking on the top sides but having seen last night's game, Eddie Howe might well feel that sticking with four in midfield early on at least is the way to go. It means the Cherries will need Surman and probably Gosling to keep their work rate supremely high and supply King and Grabban with the kind of passes into pockets of space where they can get shots off early.
Harry Arter at Liverpool earlier this season. This game is made
for a player like Harry but is he going to fit enough yet?
If AFCB lose the midfield battle though it will be a testing game for them. Liverpool don't make it easy for teams to get down the sides of them and  to get into those positions AFCB will need to bring their A game or passing. We saw Marco Reus ride tackles and get his pass away against Liverpool on Thursday, but have the Cherries got a player that is equally strong and determined not to get pushed off the ball?

Probable AFCB side:
Boruc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie, Gosling, Surman, Gradel, King, Grabban

Subs: Federici, Distin, MacDonald, Stanislas, Iturbe, Pugh, Wilson

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