MATCH PREVIEW: Blackburn V Liverpool
Liverpool travel to Blackburn on Wednesday evening as they aim to secure a place in the semi finals of the FA Cup. The Reds are still attempting to recover after a disastrous defeat to Arsenal at the weekend and with rumours of dressing room bust ups also doing the rounds, it is vital that Liverpool are focused on Wednesday in what realistically is their last hope of any glory this season.
Injuries for the Reds mean they are still without Jordan Ibe whilst Mario Balotelli will be subject to a late fitness test. Brendan Rodgers will however be unable to call upon Steven Gerrard, Emre Can and Martin Skrtel who are all serving bans.
For Blackburn they are unable to field Jay Spearing who is cup tied, whilst doubts are hanging over the likes of Gestede, Hanly, Conway, King and Dunn.
Cast your minds back to early March and you will remember the first leg of this quarter final tie. The game at Anfield ended 0-0 leaving Liverpool with a trip to Ewood Park. Blackburn have the goalscoring talent to trouble Liverpool and in the midst of a poor run of form it could be difficult for the Reds on Wednesday.
Liverpool’s last trip to Ewood Park was in the league in April 2012. The game ended 3-2 with goals from Maxi Rodriguez and Andy Carroll. The last time the Reds lost at Blackburn was in December 2006, Benni McCarthy got the only goal that day.
• The Reds are currently third in the fair play table so expect some good behaviour!
• Blackburn Rovers picked up their highest ever gate receipts in a game against Liverpool in the League Cup fourth round in 1994 (£333,000)
• Rickie Lambert is the third most used substitute in the Premier League so far this season, will he feature on Wednesday?
I’ve been looking forward to this game for weeks but as we get closer to kick off I appear to be getting more and more concerned. It was already a blow knowing Skrtel would be missing from our original back three but to then throw in the fact Can will also be excluded? Well we’re in a lot of trouble at the back in my opinion. As mentioned previously, Blackburn have some quality up front and they will not think twice in order to punish any defensive mishaps.
Then there is Liverpool’s issue up front. Daniel Sturridge in my opinion has been rushed back, he surely has to start against Blackburn due to the importance of the game but he’s nowhere near full speed and its guess work as to whether he will have enough in the tank to create issues for Blackburn on Wednesday.
The positive of course is that Liverpool are experienced in this sort of situation, we tend to like to do things the hard way and hopefully, one way or another, the Reds will collect a win and cement their place in the semi finals with Aston Villa waiting for them.
I’m going to try and pop to the bookies after work although I can’t have my favourite “Skrtel last goalscorer” bet haha. Follow me on Twitter to see what I go with - @LFCKirstyLFC
Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!