(Reuters) – Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says his side will face a huge challenge to keep Liverpool’s rampant attack in check when they play each other in the Premier League on Sunday.
League leaders Manchester City and second-placed Manchester United are the only teams to have scored more goals than fifth-placed Liverpool this campaign, with the Merseyside club having netted 34 times in 17 games.
Liverpool suffered a frustrating goalless stalemate against West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday, after being held to a 1-1 home draw with Everton at the weekend, yet prior to that they were in red hot form.
They scored 15 goals in their previous three games in all competitions, including a 7-0 thrashing of Spartak Moscow in the Champions League.
Bournemouth, who are 14th in the table, beat Juergen Klopp’s side 4-3 in last season’s home league fixture and drew at Anfield, but Howe is expecting a much harder test this time around.
“We know how big a challenge it will be. They are a different team this year,” Howe told reporters on Friday.
“They have added quality, they’ve got a well-known attack with pace, technique and movement.
“I think they are a formidable outfit at the moment. They are scoring goals for fun. They are a very strong team this year and they are getting better and improving all the time.”
Howe also praised his Liverpool counterpart’s character and noted that Klopp acted admirably when Bournemouth notched their comeback win last season.
“I can only go from personal experience and from the game here last year… he acted with real class and showed real personal qualities. I’m full of admiration for him as a man and how he coaches his team” Howe added.
Bournemouth are without a win in their last five league games and could get dragged into the relegation battle as they lie just two points above 18th-placed Crystal Palace.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)