FA Cup Quarter-Final
Sunday 8th March, 2015, 16:00 GMT
Liverpool face Blackburn Rovers in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup with a chance of reaching Wembley on the line. The home side are favourites to advance with a rich vein of form helping them overturn their early season struggles and are right in the thick of things as far the race for the fourth spot is concerned.
They have beaten Wimbledon, Bolton and Crystal Palace so far and will be hoping that they don’t make heavy weather in disposing of Blackburn after Bolton clinched a replay after a goalless draw at Anfield in the 4th Round. But their form is such that with the 2-0 win over Burnley, they have now won eight of their last ten games in all competitions. Liverpool have been playing brilliant attacking football while remaining miserly at the back, and this makes them one of the favourites for the cup considering one of Manchester United or Arsenal will bow out on Monday, provided a replay is not required.
The duo of Steven Gerrard and Mamadou Sakho are in a race against time for the match and will be on the bench at best. Lucas Leiva and Jordan Ibe are injured.
Probable Starting Line-up (3-4-2-1) Mignolet; Can, Skrtel, Lovren; Markovic, Henderson, Allen, Moreno; Lallana, Coutinho; Sturridge
With just four wins since the turn of the year, Blackburn face a really tough test against an in-form Liverpool outfit though Gary Bowyer’s men will go into this game aiming to force a replay. Having won 2-1 against Sheffield Wednesday in their last game, Blackburn will be the fresher of the two sides coming into this game and even though a first win at Anfield looks unlikely, a replay isn’t a remote possibility. They have lost seven and drawn four times since their last win in January 2000 in the FA Cup itself. They have beaten Swansea and Stoke City so far though they had a man advantage at least in either game.
Joshua King is an injury doubt for Blackburn while while Jason Lowe is out for the rest of the season with a foot injury.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-4-2) Steele; Henly, Hanley, Kilgallon, Olsson; Cairney, Evans, Williamson, Conway; Gestede, Rhodes
Liverpool have gone 12 games undefeated in the Premier League.
Liverpool have scored at least 2 goals in each of their last 7 home matches in the Premier League.
Liverpool have won three of their last four FA Cup matches 2-1.
Liverpool have won their last five home games in all competitions.
In their last five meetings, both Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers have found the net.
Blackburn have lost just once in their last 7 games in all competitions.
Blackburn have won just 2 of their last 12 away games in all competitions.
Blackburn have defeated both Swansea and Stoke in earlier rounds having gone a goal behind.
Blackburn have won just twice in their last 23 matches against Liverpool in all competitions.
Blackburn have lost in 4 of their last 5 trips to Anfield.
Blackburn win 29.7 aerial duels per game in the Championship, more than even Stokea s league high 25.7.
Players to Watch Out For
Liverpool: Daniel Sturridge
Sturridge is coming back into his stride after a long injury layoff and scored last time around Burnley, having missed a couple of good chances. He has scored scored 10 goals in his last 12 FA Cup starts and will be looking to add to his tally in the cup against Blackburn on Sunday.
Blackburn Rovers: Rudy Gestede
Blackburna s top scorer this season with 15 goals, Gestede represents their best hope alongside Jordan Rhodes to grab a goal at Anfield. The away side will be largely dependent on long balls to the two forwards and Gested with his 1.93 m frame will be a major threat in the air.
Liverpool should record a comfortable home win.