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AFC Bournemouth: Francis backs Cherries stars for Premier League futures
SIMON Francis insists facing Liverpool will be no flash in the pan for Cherries’ leading lights – because they have the ability to regularly play at the top level.
The experienced right-back believes that a number of Cherries’ most talented prospects could eventually go on to ply their trades as Premier League players.
Cherries will have the chance to prove their credentials – and catch the eye of a worldwide television audience – when they host Liverpool tomorrow.
Seven-time winners of the FA Cup, the Anfield outfit are expected to field a star-studded team in the fourth round clash at Dean Court.
Francis says it is a big challenge which he and his team-mates will be relishing come kick-off.
He told the Daily Echo: “Because we are not in the same league, it is a one-off game for us to relish the chance to play against top players.
“We have a lot of young lads in our team who I think, ability-wise, can go all the way and definitely play in the Premier League and match the players we will be playing against in the Liverpool team.
"There is no reason why we can’t go out there, give our all and, hopefully, get a positive result.
“But we will be playing against top players – the likes of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard – who are on top form.
"I would rather play against top players when they are on top form so that you are tested to your maximum. It is a big occasion for the club, the fans and the players.”
Francis has big-game pedigree having played against the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup.
Previewing tomorrow’s eagerly-anticipated showdown, he added: “It is almost a no-pressure game for us. I don’t think too many people will be expecting that much, especially if they put out a strong team, which I expect them to. I don’t see why they wouldn’t.
“We won’t change the way we play, we will pass the ball, they will do the same and I really think it will make for an entertaining game.”
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