Facing Real Madrid’s Ronaldo will help me against Liverpool’s Suarez – Bournemouth’s Elphick

AFC Bournemouth captain Tommy Elphick believes a preseason friendly with Real Madrid has prepared the side for this weekend’s FA Cup clash with Liverpool.

AFC Bournemouth captain Tommy Elphick believes a preseason friendly with Real Madrid has prepared the side for this weekend’s FA Cup clash with Liverpool.

The Cherries meet the Reds at Dean Court in the fourth round of the prestigious cup competition on Saturday and the 26-year old defender believes the clash with Madrid in the summer, which brought him head-to-head with Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, has helped Eddie Howe’s players get ready for a game like this.

"I think just the buzz around that game has helped to prepare us," he said in regards to the 6-0 loss to the Spanish giants.

"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."

Of the clash with Ronaldo and potentially facing Luis Suarez, Elphick added: "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."

 
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