How £80m man could inspire Bournemouth to victory over Liverpool

Experiencing former Manchester United forward Ronaldo in a pre-season friendly versus Real Madrid stands underdogs in good stead against Suarez.

Tommy Elphick, 26, will be charged with one of the toughest examinations any centre back could face when Bournemouth take on Liverpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup at Dean Court in Dorset on Saturday, January 25 as he will be the one attempting to nullify the threat posed by prolific net-buster Luis Suarez.

Suarez is a consensus top three player in world football this football season thanks to a combined goal and assist record of 33 (one every 46 minutes) from 17 Premier League matches, yet there is good news for Elphick - the Uruguayan has not scored in the FA Cup at all this season (although he's only featured for 15 minutes).

Should Suarez play a prominent role at the weekend, Elphick will use his experience of lining up against the world's best as the Brighton and Hove Albion educated defender shared the same turf as Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of the Real Madrid superstars during a pre-season friendly, last summer.

'I think just the buzz around that game has helped to prepare us,' said Elphick, as quoted by Eurosport. 'It's very similar, with the press calls and people queuing for tickets and stuff.

'Obviously on the day we didn't give as good a show against Real Madrid as we would have liked, but it was early in pre-season and they were a bit better fine-tuned than us, so hopefully we can put a better show on against Liverpool on Saturday.'

Assessing the Portuguese superstar, a recent winner of the Ballon d'Or prize, he said: 'Ronaldo was all right. He came off at half-time and scored a free-kick and he scored a goal that came from my mistake. But it stands you in good stead.

'These players have an aura and a presence about them and I think that's prepared us well for this game. He [Suarez] is one of the best three players in the world in my opinion, at the moment, and we're lucky to have him in England.

'To be on the same pitch as him will be a privilege. No one wants to miss out playing against Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard, so there has been a little bit of an edge. We've got a very grounded squad - we're young and progressive and we've been through a lot in the last few years.

'All the lessons we've learnt have to be put into practice,' he concluded.

image: © flawka

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