AFC Bournemouth face a difficult test on Wednesday night as they take on last year’s Premier League runners up Liverpool in the quarter-final of the Capital One Cup.
However, this test may not seem as difficult as it should be to a Cherries side who sit top of the Championship table unbeaten in twelve matches as only nine teams stand in between them and the Premier League giants.
In contrast Liverpool are having a miserable season after being knocked out of the Champions League last week and losing to rivals Manchester United 3-0 on Sunday which put them down to eleventh in the Premier League table.
If this wasn’t enough the Reds will be worried that former Bournemouth and Liverpool player Jamie Redknapp said that “The Bournemouth game will be every little bit as hard as the game at Old Trafford, if not harder.”
The quarter-final fixture marks the first time Bournemouth have progressed this far into the competition, knocking out fellow Premier League opposition West Brom 2-1 in the last round in October.
During that victory Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe made ten changes to his side, whilst a full strengthened Liverpool team squeezed past Swansea with two goals in the last five minutes to claim their spot in the next round.
This is not the first time the two sides have met after being drawn against each other in last season’s FA Cup 4th Round which Liverpool won 2-0.
However, Eddie Howe believes his side have improved since then, telling Sky Sports:
“I’d like to think so. I think the proof will be when we play them. I’d say we are a better side now than we were then.”
Meanwhile, under-fire Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was not as confident of tomorrow’s cup tie, saying that:
“They have very much got good quality in the side. It’s going to be a really tough game for us and our players know, having experienced it last season in the cup, that it will be a difficult game.”
Liverpool are expected to play a full strength side again as they did in January, especially after their abysmal Premier League and Champions League form.
It is unknown whether or not Howe will make any changes to the side that beat Cardiff 5-3 on Saturday as so far he has rotated his side through every round of the Capital One Cup.
Two outstanding performers in the Capital One Cup starting eleven include youngster Baily Cargill, whose performances earned himself an England U20s call up, and midfielder Dan Gosling who has notched four goals in the competition so far making himself the joint second top goal scorer.
Bournemouth are a team oozing with confidence and whatever side they put out will be just as big of a test for Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool who will not want to exit this competition just yet.