The arrival of Premiership giants Liverpool at the Fitness First is a dream tie for any club and AFC Bournemouth are no different. ITV has deemed it the tie of the round and blessed it with the early kick-off. Cup fever is here, but the big question for us is, ‘What side will Rodgers put out?’ Will we get to see Gerrard, Saurez, Sterling, Sturridge, Johnson or will the big names get a rest? How important is the game to Liverpool? Will we have half a chance… of course.
For those who believe in omens, history may well be on our side. It will be almost 30 years (it really is that long ago) to the day that Harry Redknapp’s AFC Bournemouth knocked out the giants of Man Utd in a 2-0 victory at Dean Court in 1984. Reckon this might get mentioned a few times in the build-up.
There are no previous League meetings between the two clubs. The only history we have lies in the FA Cup over 45 years ago in 1968. The only other meeting was back in 1927. No wins, two draws and two losses. Let’s hope its third time lucky.
The two FA Cup games between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool in 1968 saw a 0-0 draw at Dean Court and a 4-1 Liverpool victory at Anfield in the replay. All five goals in the that game were scored by Liverpool players. Emlyn Hughes scoring an own goal in the 74th minute.
HOW AFCB GOT TO ROUND 4
LAST TIME OUT
There have only ever been two meetings between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool, both in the FA Cup. In 1968 its was a 0-0 draw at Dean Court and a 4-1 Liverpool victory at Anfield in the replay.
AFC BOURNEMOUTH 0-0 LIVERPOOL
COMPETITION: FA CUP R3 | DATE: 27.01.1968 | GROUND: DEAN COURT
LIVERPOOL 4-1 AFC BOURNEMOUTH
COMPETITION: FA CUP R3 REPLAY | DATE: 30.01.1968 | GROUND: ANFIELD
(Goals: Hateley 33, Thompson 44, Hunt 51, Lawler 73, Hughes (OG) 74)
STATS AND FACTS
Will AFC Bournemouth win today? Here some stats and facts.
Bournemouth have won 45%, drawn 15% and lost 40% of their last 20 home games.
Bournemouth have kept a clean sheet in 20% of their last 20 home games.
Bournemouth have failed to score in 25% of their last 20 home games.
Liverpool have won 40%, drawn 30% and lost 30% of their last 20 away games.
Liverpool have kept a clean sheet in 25% of their last 20 away games.
Liverpool have failed to score in 10% of their last 20 away games.
VIEW FROM THE SOUTH END
The Cherries picking out a big name in the FA Cup has been long overdue. In fact, the last time was Man Utd back in the 1988/89 season.
Seeing Scousers in Boscombe won’t be an unusual occurrence, ‘Little Liverpool’ has been here for years, but we have never played them in a game while I have been alive. All the die-hard, regular, armchair, occasional and big screen fans will be looking forward to this game, but TV hasn’t always been kind to the Cherries. From what I can remember its usually a draw or we lose. Of course, all the great games we win on TV I wont have seen live as I was at the match.
We reckon Pitman is going to shine, not like when he played against Blyth, score a spectacular goal and add a £1m to his value. As it’s a special occasion I am not going to dedicate a single swear word to the game, I’m just going to bring out my favourites and we reckon For F**k’s Sake is going to get a good airing.
PREDICTION: Liverpool are a top Premiership team and probably have the best striker in the world (no, not Sturridge). So this would suggest that there is going to be goals in the game. Bournemouth always score, well nearly always. So it’s going to be a 1-1 draw. I don’t care what the bookies and stats say, what do they know. But, to make it more exciting I am going to put a bet on Bournemouth to win 4-3 at 175-1. (Warning: our predictions are usually wrong).
VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE
How much do Liverpool fans know about AFC Bournemouth?
In all honesty, not a great deal. Having been towards the top end of the Premier League for so long (despite our flirtations with relegation under the current England manager!) we rarely even look at the bottom end of the PL table, unless we are playing one of the teams down there.
Playing a team like Bournemouth is a great reminder that football doesn’t begin and end with the PL and Champions League qualification. One of the beauties of the FA Cup.
What I do know (from the match preview on our site) is that we’ve actually played you guys 4 times (all in the FA Cup). Twice at your place, and both of these matches required a replay (1927 & 1968). So we have never actually won in Bournemouth!
Do they think it will be an easy game?
Not at all.
We have a fantastic record in the FA Cup, having won it 7 times. But we also have a fantastic record of faltering against teams in leagues below us. We struggled against Mansfield last year and Havant & Waterlooville a couple of years before that (actually going 2-0 down) at Anfield. Oldham knocked us out last year and since the turn of the century we have lost a domestic cup match to Barnsely, Bolton, Burnley, Crystal Palace (three times!), Grimsby, Reading, Northampton and were taken to extra time by Luton Town.
This is the only chance some of the players will ever get to play against a team like Liverpool so they really up their game, and credit to them. It’s 11 vs 11 and if they want it more, it can make our life VERY difficult.
With the Merseyside derby coming only 3 days after the FA Cup game what side do you think Brendan Rodgers will put out?
I think that will play on Rodgers’ mind, however, Rodgers has never won a trophy and with no European commitments (and out of the League Cup), it may be quite tempting to go all out for the FA Cup, plus the club have only won one League Cup trophy in 8 years, something that isn’t good enough for a club like Liverpool.
Due to injury, we pretty much have a team that picks itself in many positions but I expect us to line up in a very similar way to how we did vs Oldham in the previous round. Probably along the lines of Brad Jones, Martin Kelly, Skrtel, Toure and Cissokho (possibly youngster Brad Smith) making up the defence. Allen, Henderson and Alberto in midfield, supporting a front three of Coutinho, Aspas and Moses with a bench of Mignolet, Sakho, Johnson, Gerrard, Sterling, Suarez and Sturridge.
What is you prediction for the game?
Our Achilles’ heel is defending against big powerful forwards (see Benteke on Saturday or Matt Smith when we played Oldham last season) and/or teams who are high energy and press our defence (Shhhh! It’s a secret!).If Bournemouth do either or both of these things we could be in trouble, especially if your guys are ‘well up for it’, but having said that our quality should see us through.
So I will go for a 2-1 Liverpool win, but as I said earlier it is 11 vs 11 and anything can happen!