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Liverpool v Bournemouth: Rodgers keen to build home momentum

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is hoping his side’s home form is “second to none” this season, ahead of Monday’s Premier League clash with Bournemouth.

Rodgers’ men clinched a 1-0 victory at Stoke City on the opening weekend, thanks to a late stunner from Philippe Coutinho, and kick off their home campaign by welcoming Eddie Howe’s top-flight newboys to Anfield.

Liverpool struggled for form on their own patch in the early part of last season, winning just four of their first 11 matches on Merseyside in the league, and Rodgers is keen to build stronger foundations for a successful campaign this time around.

“Building confidence early on is important and building the vibrancy around the place,” he said. “Winning early on is important to that. Home form is so important if you are going to improve.

“The main attribute is confidence. If you have that, that will give you success. That confidence will come from working hard and getting results at home.

“We are a team who wants to dominate, that will always be the case particularly at home.

“We trained at Anfield last night [Friday]. It was important for the new players and staff to acquaint themselves. It’s important our home form is second to none this season.”

Bournemouth began life in the Premier League with 1-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa, but manager Howe is relishing the prospect of pitting himself against Rodgers.

“[Rodgers has] been a role model, really, for me,” he said. “Someone you look up to and admire. I admired watching his Swansea teams play.

“When you try and analyse games and analyse systems, and philosophies, he’s certainly someone that I’ve looked at. I respect the way he conducts himself as well.

“I think he’s now building another Liverpool team, a new Liverpool team, this year, so it’ll be interesting to see how they do.”

Discussing his opposite number, Rodgers – whose side beat Bournemouth 3-1 in a League Cup clash last season – commented: “Eddie Howe is a good guy who I’ve got to know over a number of years. He will find every game in the Premier League is like a cup final.

“He and the Bournemouth squad deserve to be in the Premier League. Anfield is one of football’s iconic grounds and they will enjoy it.”

Rodgers is set to select a similar squad to the one that got the better of Stoke last weekend, but says Roberto Firmino is progressing well in his push for a starting berth.

Daniel Sturridge (hip), Joe Allen (hamstring) and John Flanagan (knee) all remain sidelined.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, have question marks over the fitness of Christian Atsu (back) and Shaun MacDonald (toe).

Sat 15 Aug, 2015
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