Competition: FA Cup Quarter-Final – Liverpool vs Blackburn Rovers
Venue: Anfield – Sunday, March 8 – 16:00 GMT (11:00 ET)
Match Odds: Liverpool 2/7 – Draw 9/2 – Blackburn 9/1
Liverpool welcome Blackburn Rovers to Anfield in their FA Cup quarter-final tie on Sunday afternoon and go into the game as outright favourites for the match as well as the favourites to lift this year’s FA Cup trophy.
The Reds have won their last five at home in all competitions and you have to look back as far as early November for the last time Liverpool lost in front of their own fans – a run of 13 games.
Liverpool beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the last round and will have their sights set on a trip to Wembley if they can progress past Blackburn. This will be the Reds’ second home game in this year’s FA Cup after they drew 0-0 against Bolton in the fourth round.
Brendan Rodgers has his side playing some excellent football and club captain Steven Gerrard will celebrate his 35th birthday on the day of the 2015 FA Cup final in what will be his final game for the club and it’s difficult to see Blackburn ruining that plot on Sunday.
The Championship outfit are currently sitting in 10th place in English football’s second tier and have won just one of their last five in all competitions.
That victory came on Wednesday night in a 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn will now hope to record back-to-back away wins for the first time this season.
Recent form as well as history suggests that will be an extremely difficult task as Blackburn haven’t won at Liverpool in fifteen years – a run of 11 games since.
They can take confidence knowing that 1-0 victory came in the last FA Cup meeting between the pair and Gary Bowyer will have his players fired up for another big Premier League test.
Blackburn have already beaten Swansea City and Stoke City in this year’s FA Cup so will travel to Liverpool knowing they have a chance.
Liverpool will be without Lucas Leiva (groin), Jose Enrique (knee), Brad Jones (hip) and John Flanagan (knee) while Jordan Ibe (knee) will also miss out through injury but would have been cup-tied anyway. Mamadou Sakho and Steven Gerrard are both doubts but could both be in line to start the game on Sunday afternoon. Rodgers is expected to field a strong lineup and won’t take any chances against lower opposition.
Blackburn will be without Shane Duffy (knee) and Jason Lowe for the trip to Anfield while Joshua King, who scored a hat-trick against Stoke in the last round, is a doubt after missing Wednesday’s game at Sheffield Wednesday. Jordan Rhodes should partner Rudy Gestede in attack.
Liverpool’s last five in all competitions: W/W/L/W/W
Blackburn’s last five in all competitions: D/D/L/D/W
Key Stat: Liverpool have only lost one of their last 17 games at home to Blackburn in all competitions and that came 15 years ago.
Key Player: Daniel Sturridge – The England striker has looked good since returning from injury and will look to build on Wednesday’s goal against Burnley in this one.
Liverpool 3-1 Blackburn – The Reds will be too strong for Blackburn in this one but the away side will be confident of getting at least one goal. This should be an open and entertaining game but Liverpool are playing some excellent football at the moment and have the hearts set on a Wembley appearance.