7 Mar 2015

LFC lineup vs. Blackburn: BR to dump £20m star? Surprise debut for Jordan Williams

With several top teams already out of the competition (and one of either Manchester United or Arsenal set to go out this week) Liverpool have a great chance of winning the FA Cup, but first, the club must get past Blackburn Rovers, who've already knocked out Swansea and Stoke this season.

Team News:

* Sakho did a full training session on Friday, so he may come back into the reckoning.

* In his Friday press conference, Brendan Rodgers confirmed that Gerrard is working with the 'rehab team', and hinted that Blackburn may be too soon for a comeback.

* Lucas Leiva, Jones, Flanagan, Enrique and Ibe are all out of contention with injury (though Ibe is cup-tied anyway).

After this game, Liverpool have nine days off, which is plenty of recovery time, so I fully expect Rodgers to go with his strongest available team. What is that, though? I'd go for the following team:

-------------- Mignolet

----- Can ---- Skrtel ----- Lovren

-- Sterling - Hendo - Allen - Moreno

----------- Lallana - Coutinho

-------------- Sturridge

* If Sakho is fit again, will he come in for Lovren? Liverpool Domestically, Liverpool have won three out of three with Lovren back in the team, and kept two clean sheets. As such, is it really fair to dump him for Sakho?

* This seems like an ideal game to give Mario Balotelli a run-out, but given Rodgers' desire to win a trophy this season, I doubt he'll take any chances. Plus, why change a winning team? Markovic also missed the last game, and he'll probably be on the bench again on Sunday.

* Playing Sterling at right wing-back is not ideal, but he did a decent job in the last game, and it allows Rodgers to play Lallana, Coutinho, Sturridge, and Sterling in the same team.

* There's always a possibility that Rodgers may spring a surprise or two. Academy youngster Tom Brewitt, Daniel Clearly, Lloyd Jones, Alex O’Hanlon and Jordan Williams trained with the first team on Friday, so one or two of them may make the bench.

* Williams has been on the bench 5 times this season, including the club's last three games, so if anyone is going to make a surprise debut this weekend, it's probably him.

Liverpool legend Jan Molby insists that Liverpool are 'clear favourites' to beat Blackburn, and expects the Reds to make it through to the semi-finals. He told the Liverpool Echo:

"Blackburn haven’t been in great form and have picked up some injuries. The best thing we can do is keep our Premier League hat on and treat the game in a similar fashion. We have the better players and we just have to be professional and get the job done".

On paper, Liverpool are vastly superior to Blackburn, but this is the FA Cup, and anything is possible. That said, the game is at Anfield, and with the Reds in fantastic form, I can't see anything other than a comfortable LFC victory.

My prediction: 4-1

Author:



24 comments:

  1. Fancy us to win this one 2-0.
    Having 9 days off after this is a good point and a well needed break for the squad. With that in mind, I don't see any point in rushing Sakho back. Lovren needs games and confidence so another game against so-called weaker opposition will probably be good for him. The team you've listed would be my preference as well.
    Regarding Balotelli... Short of an injury crisis, I don't think he'll start another game for us

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  2. Agree, go with this team. If we get a couple of goals early I would rather see Markovic on, to boost his confidence rather than give a youth team player a chance at the moment.

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  3. Agree it's a good time to have one or two youngsters on the bench. We should be looking to start quickly have the game won by half time , then we can give Williams or whoever some game time comfortably. Slight chance he may try Balotelli and Studge in a 3-4-1-2 again? I still think he has that in his mind as an alternative tactic....

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  4. What makes you think that? When Balo has featured lately he has made an impact. He should be closer to the team now than before. He is always at least on the bench now....

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  5. Didn't say it was based on his recent performances, I agree he's looked better in his last few games but he can't play our system the way Sturridge and Sterling can, therefore he's behind both of them in the pecking order - as he should be as on his best game he doesn't contribute what those two do. With that in mind, he's a plan B at best so as I said, short of an injury to Sturridge and/or Sterling, I don't see him starting another game and I fully expect him to be moved on in the summer.

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  6. I disagree that he is gonna be moved on , I still think he was bought to play in a two with Sturridge as an alternative tactic (a variation on the diamond system used a st season) so I think he could well stay. I agree he can't play the lone role. Sturridge plays but not because he doesn't work hard , his opta stats show that he covers lots of ground per game when he has played and despite this he still accused of being lazy by commentators routinely. bearing in mind that Southampton paid over £12m for someone like Long , he was not an exxpensive deal and I still think he will come good. He must be showing Rodgers something in training or he would be left out altogether as he was early on in the season.

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  7. I disagree that he is gonna be moved on , I still think he was bought to play in a two with Sturridge as an alternative tactic (a variation on the diamond system used a st season) so I think he could well stay. I agree he can't play the lone role Sturridge plays but not because he doesn't work hard , his opta stats show that he covers lots of ground per game when he has played and despite this he still accused of being lazy by commentators routinely. bearing in mind that Southampton paid over £12m for someone like Long , he was not an exxpensive deal and I still think he will come good. He must be showing Rodgers something in training or he would be left out altogether as he was early on in the season.

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  8. I'd like to see Balotelli get start in a strong first 11 which he hasn't been in since November. Sturridge still looks rusty would rather see him come on as a sub. Lallana and Coutinho as are looking very promising play in the hole (Lallana was very good on wednesday night ) so keeping sterling on the right suits the team at the moment. 3-0 Liverpool

    P.s That pitch invasion at Villa park tonight was one of the most pathetic things I have seen in football for a very long time and to hear Fabian Delph mention that he was bitten and that he had his armband stolen as well as his boot.. I hope they throw the book at them.

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  9. Jaimie predicts a win. No point watching. Inevitable loss. Cheers James!

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  10. Well we'll see. Just calling it the way I see it

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  11. I'll probably get slated for this but I'd take Shane Long over Balotelli every day of the week

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  12. All you had to see was Studge and Hendo's reaction to the penalty incident involving Ballotelli to know he is divisive in the team.


    The other point is whether ballo is amazing, talented or any other positive adjective one cares to mention - we were pretty much the only team in for him in the summer - says alot that does.....


    He played with a lot of self-concious ego at the beginning of the season where he would run as if it had to be done with style rather than focus on getting the ball for the good of the team - granted Brendan Rodgers may have got through his lead-lined skin and got him playing a little more to our style, but you cannot shrug off deep apathy that quickly.


    I'm really appreciative of any goals he's got us so far but really at £3-5million per year I wonder if that is actually his remit in the first place....?


    So Jock..... I agree....for reasons mentioned along with probably a whole host of others I reckon his days are numbered come what may - I'll be very surprised to see him here come next season - only reason otherwise is no buyers.....!

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  13. Good post mate, agree with all that

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  14. It doesn't seem like the best idea to have Sterling out there as a winger, not consistently. It's one thing to have attacking wing backs but Sterling tracking back to his own goal line is a waste of his energy. An alternative is to have Lallana play the winger on the left side and Sterling fit in the pocket around Sturridge. I guess it's a similar adaptation, there is no ideal. It's just good to have so many options. Rodgers will be pleased to have these kinds of selection problems.

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  15. Agree I would go 1 better and get Ings for half of Long's price

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  16. It would be interesting to see Sterling and Lallana swopped around

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  17. Markovic needs to play

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  18. Isn't it funny how Pulis reacts again. West Brom fans rip seats out and throw them onto the pitch and yet he deflects that by saying that the Villa fans that ran onto the pitch are mindless idiots. To me this reminds me of the Stoke vs Liverpool game where Suarez had his chest stomped on by Huth and was hacked constantly throughout the game and yet Pulis focused solely on the dive by Suarez. One of the reasons I can't stand Pulis.

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  19. It's a bit like when Gerrard predicts us having a great season or a player being a future great player, it always turns out to be the exact opposite.

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  20. Or maybe get both Long and Ings in, I doubt they would be too much more than 10M combined.

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  21. Well that to me just demonstrates the effect of the pre-conceived notions about him that it seems impossible for people to shake off. Even given the issues it laughable that you can say that. Long is a terrible player

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  22. Mr. Point Of View8:06 am, March 08, 2015

    Yes ! he is far from justify his price tag

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  23. Having 9 days of is enough time to recover from tired Lets but not from a hamstring pull. Nevertheless we have to go all out for this trophy so the team that beat Burnley should play. Youngsters can come in when were 3 goals up. Unless iTS Rossiter. Hes ready.

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  24. Yep very true. Needs to do more than stop in front of an opposing player, turn back and pass...

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