Cherries don't fear Liverpool's 'Fab Three'

LONDON • Bournemouth have largely flown under the radar this season, but their performances since Christmas marks the Cherries as one of the Premier League's in-form teams.

Despite being in the bottom three on Dec 25, Bournemouth have turned things around - losing only twice in the league since Boxing Day - and are just two points from the fabled 40-point mark, which should secure a fourth successive season of top-flight football.

Unfortunately for Eddie Howe's side, they will today come up against a team in even greater form and still on a high from knocking out Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Howe is, however, showing no signs of inferiority ahead of the clash with Liverpool and he challenged his side to go for the three points that could see them move into the top half of the table.

"Players have responded again brilliantly in terms of their work ethic, attitude to their training which we have always spoke about," the Cherries manager said.

Liverpool's "Fab Three" of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, the league's top scorer with 29 goals, are more than a handful for any defence, but Howe believes Bournemouth's backline can stand up to them.

"We have just been harder to put away and I think our form since Christmas has been right up there with some of the best teams in the division," he added.

At his pre-match press conference yesterday, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp declared captain Jordan Henderson and Firmino fit.

While Klopp rotated his squad for last week's Merseyside derby, the German said he would not be tinkering with his line-up this time round.

"We don't have a (Champions League) game on Tuesday again so why should I think (about anything else) on Saturday. Who is available is available and will play," he added.

LIVERPOOL V BOURNEMOUTH

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2018, with the headline 'Cherries don't fear Liverpool's 'Fab Three''. Print Edition | Subscribe