Liverpool begin life without Philippe Coutinho at Bournemouth on Sunday.
Aside from the EFL Cup win over Leeds which the Brazilian probably wouldn’t have featured in anyway, this will be the first real test for Jurgen Klopp since the news that his star man is out for 5-6 weeks.
Coutinho’s absence isn’t going to alter the odds too much – the Reds are still at 3/4 to win the game, but it does shift the pressure onto Liverpool’s other attacking players.
Their in-form trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Divock Origi all to score is at 12/1. On paper, that doesn’t seem out of the question, but Bournemouth are no pushovers.
It’s a risk, therefore, but it could be one worth taking; the only issue is which Cherries side turn up. If it’s the one who drew 0-0 with Tottenham and defended for their lives, Liverpool could find them hard to break down.
Yet, Bournemouth shipped three against Arsenal last week, and it’s not all that long since they let two in at home to strugglers Sunderland.
Howe is going to be demanding massive improvement from his players, but it’s hard to see Liverpool slipping up here.
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