Liverpool FC are undergoing a crisis with results not coming their way. What makes their problems worse is that three of their first team players are out with suspension.
Brendan Rodgers will be without Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel, who will both be serving their second game of a three game ban. Emre Can accumulated a red card against Arsenal (two bookings) and will be out for the game against Blackburn.
This means that Rodgers, who is already under intense pressure at the moment, will have to tweak his team in the quarter-final replay at Ewood Park on Wednesday night.
Can’s suspension means that Dejan Lovren looks likely to make his first start since the game against Blackburn Rovers at Anfield over a month ago. However, the unsettled Croat, is certainly not a guaranteed started as Glen Johnson, who is almost certainly leaving Liverpool at the end of the season, could come in for Can.
Kolo Toure, who at times was shocking against Arsenal, is likely to continue in the back for the suspended Martin Skrtel as his experience is needed in the young team.
It will be interesting to see if Lovren gets a go at all as when asked why Kolo Toure started ahead of the 20m summer signing, Rodgers said, a The thing with Kolo is he gives me everything every single day so I know what I am going to get with him. Dejan was obviously out over the international break but now he is fighting well and looking strong. He will be in contention for the Cup game for sure.a
Striker Mario Balotelli, who according to Rodgers deemed himself unfit to travel for the Arsenal game due to a sore knee, trained with the team and will be assessed ahead of the trip.
Liverpool will be boosted with the news that Jordan Ibe has returned to training. However, the talented 19-year old is unlikely to be available for the game but is expected to be involved in the Newcastle game next Monday.
Raheem Sterling has been in the news due to his contract talks, Zidane’s revelations etc, and will be feeling the pressure to perform and justify the hefty money being demanded by his agent on his behalf. The trio of Sterling, Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge are expected to start.
Probable Line-up (3-4-2-1): Mignolet; Toure, Sakho, Lovren; Markovic, Henderson (c), Lucas, Moreno; Sterling, Coutinho; Sturridge