Gary O’Neil issues honest verdict on two Liverpool stars ahead of Bournemouth clash

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Liverpool duo Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo have been singled out for praise by Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil ahead of the two teams meeting in the Premier League today.

The Reds make the trip to the south coast off the back of a statement 7-0 thrashing of Manchester United last week, in which the aforementioned forwards both scored twice.

Victory for Jurgen Klopp’s men this lunchtime would elevate them into the top four for a few hours at least prior to Tottenham’s clash against Nottingham Forest later in the day, and the Cherries boss has been talking up two of our in-form players prior to the Vitality Stadium showdown.

As per Bournemouth Daily Echo, the 39-year-old said: “Obviously some new signings that may take a while to settle – Gakpo and Nunez look like real, good additions. But they’ll be adapting to a new country and new league as well. I expect them to finish strongly.”

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Liverpool’s resurgence over the past month has indeed been aided by the form of the two players highlighted by O’Neil.

The Uruguay striker took his goal tally for the season to 14 following his double against United, which duly made it three goals in his last four appearances, having also netted away to Newcastle and at home to Real Madrid recently (Transfermarkt).

Despite being on the receiving end of criticism over chances he’s missed, Nunez is still our second-highest scorer during the current campaign (Transfermarkt) and has been showing signs of finding his potent best in recent matches.

Meanwhile, January arrival Gakpo is also in a rich vein of form, with four goals in his last five Premier League outings (Transfermarkt) since netting his first for the club in the derby win against Everton just under a month ago.

Both players will pose a new challenge for O’Neil and Bournemouth, with neither featuring in Liverpool’s 9-0 drubbing of the Cherries last August.

Nunez was suspended that day following his red card against Crystal Palace early in the campaign, while the Dutchman was still a PSV Eindhoven player at the time.

Based on what they’ve shown in the past four weeks, no wonder the man in the home team’s dugout is wary of the damage the Reds attackers can unleash, and hopefully they can both continue their respective hot streaks today.

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