In-form Bournemouth decent shouts against struggling Liverpool
Last season’s Premier League second-placed side Liverpool face Championship outfit Bournemouth away in the quarter-final of the Capital One Cup.
While the Reds are second-favourites with Coral to win this trophy at 4/1, to extend their record haul to nine, they severely lack form going into this meeting, with just two wins from their last 10 matches in all competitions.
Bournemouth, on the other hand, are on an unbeaten run of 12 games, including knocking out top-flight side West Bromwich Albion, with nine victories, which has led to them topping their table.
As a result, the Cherries are tempting 13/5 shouts to carry on their terrific form and beat the Reds in 90 minutes, and 13/8 to qualify for the semi-finals.
Liverpool, who slumped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat to bitter rivals Manchester United last time out in the league, have never lost to Bournemouth in their five encounters in history with them (all in the FA Cup). They are, therefore, 21/10 favourites to beat them again, and odds-on at 4/9 to qualify.
Two of their victories against the Cherries ended 4-1 (in 1927 and 1968), and they can be backed at 40/1 to get back into scoring form and win by that result once more.
Bournemouth, though, managed to hold Liverpool to a draw in two of their three home clashes with them, so take tempting odds of 13/5 for a share of the spoils after 90 minutes, bringing the match into extra time.
Boss Eddie Howe will be hoping his star striker this season, Callum Wilson, can carry on his impressive tally of 12 goals this term, with the England-21 international 15/8 to net anytime.
Brendan Rodgers may pick Rickie Lambert up front in this battle, after Mario Balotelli was left out of squad to have further treatment on a groin problem and Raheem Sterling failed to impress in that position against Man Utd.
Back former Southampton frontman Lambert, who scored home and away against the Cherries when Saints were promoted from League One, and is evens to net again here.
Bournemouth legend Howe said ahead of the game: “I would love the players to do themselves justice and show everybody, if people need confirmation, we are a good side.
“It’s one game and the first time we have been in the quarter-final, so it’s hopefully a game where we can relax and attack rather than think too much of the consequences of defeat or victory. We are in a good place, enjoying the games and the challenges,” he continued.
“I think it is a showcase for the club and a showcase for the team,” he added. “If we can perform as we have done in the league and give a really good account of ourselves and hopefully everyone can see our philosophy, then we will take that.
“The result is always in the lap of the gods, but we want to see the principles of our play coming out. If we can play our normal way, keep the ball and probe then hopefully we can impose ourselves.
Bournemouth are 33/1 chances to go all the way in the tournament and win their first major trophy.