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First Team

Team news: Brooks back for the Cherries

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

David Brooks makes a welcome return to the AFC Bournemouth squad for today's visit of Premier League high-fliers Liverpool to Vitality Stadium.

Brooks, who has not played for the first team since featuring in a 0-0 draw at Peterborough in September 2021, is named among the Cherries substitutes following a 528-day absence.

The 25-year-old Wales international was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma in October 2021 and received the all-clear at the end of last season.

Although he resumed training in pre-season, Brooks suffered a hamstring injury on his return to action for the development squad at the end of August.

Head coach Gary O’Neil makes three changes to his starting line-up for the visit of the Reds with Lloyd Kelly returning after a seven-week layoff.

Defender Kelly, fully recovered from a calf injury sustained in January, is joined by fit-again midfielder Jefferson Lerma and frontman Jaidon Anthony.

Lerma sat out the Cherries’ eventful 3-2 defeat at Arsenal last week due to injury, the first league game missed by the Colombia international this season.

Adam Smith reaches another personal appearance milestone having played his 300th league game for the Cherries at the Emirates.

He joins Steve Cook as the club’s leading appearance-maker in the Premier League, the pair both having featured 168 times in the top flight for the Cherries.

AFC Bournemouth: Neto, Smith, Senesi, Stephens, Kelly, Lerma, Rothwell, Billing, Ouattara, Solanke, Anthony.

Subs: Viña, Brooks, Moore, Cook, Christie, Fredericks, Mepham, Semenyo, Travers (g/k). 

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Konaté, Robertson, Elliott, Fabinho, Bajcetic, Salah, Gakpo, Núñez.

Subs: Milner, Firmino, Arthur, Jota, Tsimikas, Carvalho, Henderson, Matip, Adrián (g/k).

Referee: John Brooks.

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