FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Liverpool vs Blackburn

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

Match Preview

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.

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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.

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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.

Team News

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.

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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.

Key Points

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.

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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.

Score Prediction

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.

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Blackburn Rovers vs Swansea City: FA Cup Preview and Prediction

Competition: FA Cup Fourth Round

Venue: Ewood Park – Saturday January 24 – 12:45

Match odds: Blackburn Rovers 2/1 – Draw 23/10 – Swansea City 11/8

The early kick off on Saturday’s FA Cup weekend should be a really hard fought tie as Championship side Blackburn Rovers entertain Premier League opponents Swansea City at Ewood Park.

Blackburn overcame fellow Championship side Charlton Athletic 2-1 in the third round, while Gary Monk’s Swansea thumped League Two side Tranmere Rovers 6-2.

Blackburn Rovers’ home record in all competitions: Played 14 – Won 6 – Drawn 4 – Lost 4

Blackburn are currently sitting 10th in the Championship and have been in steady form this season but are without a win in their last four games.

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This will be the first time the sides have met since 2012 before Blackburn’s relegation from the Premier League. Swansea came out on top in that tie, winning 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium.

Both Nathan Dyer and Gylfi Sigurdsson were on the score sheet that day and there is every chance that will happen again in tomorrow’s fixture, as they are the joint top scorers in the side now Wilfried Bony has left.

Swansea City’s away record in all competitions: Played 12 – Won 3 – Drawn 3 – Lost 6

Swansea have been inconsistent on the road this season winning only three times, and they will be looking to bounce back from that 5-0 thumping at the hands of Chelsea last Saturday. Gary Monk will be expecting a tough tie as we all know about home advantage in the cup.

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The Swans have scored 11 goals in their last six away games, while Blackburn have failed to find the net in their last two home games. But they put four past Swansea the last time the Welsh club visited Ewood Park in 2011 and will hope for a repeat performance.

Blackburn Rovers last five in all competitions: L/D/W/L/D

Swansea City’s last five in all competitions: L/D/W/D/L

Key Stat: Defensive frailties – The Swans have only kept three clean sheets away from home all season while Blackburn have only kept four at home.

Key Player: Jordan Rhodes – The Blackburn goal machine only has nine this campaign so far but is always one to watch and will relish the chance to impress against the Premier League side.

Blackburn vs. Swansea Prediction: Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Swansea City – a hard battle for both sides but the Premier League outfit to edge it.

MLSGB FA Cup Fourth Round Predictions

This weekend sees a break from league action for those sides that are still in the FA Cup and we take a look at the fourth round fixtures to see how each team will fair.

Ben Ashton takes a stab at the possible outcomes of the action this weekend.

Here’s this week’s FA Cup fourth round predictions:

Friday 23 January 2015

Cambridge United vs Manchester United (19:55)

Manchester United faced a possible upset in the third round away at Yeovil Town but they came through that test comfortably in the end and I expect them to do so once again against a modest Cambridge.

Prediction: 0-2


Saturday 24 January 2015 (All kick-offs are 15:00 unless otherwise stated)

Blackburn Rovers vs Swansea City (12:45)

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Both sides have stuttered recently in the Championship and Premier League respectively and are both without a win in four which is why it’s likely to end all square.

Prediction: 1-1 (Swansea City to win the replay 2-0)


Birmingham City vs West Bromwich Albion

Birmingham have picked things up recently after a torrid start to the season which saw them record just two wins from the opening 15 games. But any side managed by Tony Pulis will be tough to beat and the Baggies should edge this Midlands derby.

Prediction: 1-2


Cardiff City vs Reading

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Neither of these sides can have much to brag about this season as they both sit in the bottom half of the Championship. A cup run could potentially light up an otherwise dull campaign for one of them. Narrow home win.

Prediction: 2-1


Chelsea vs Bradford City

If Chelsea fail to get past Bradford at home in the fourth round, it would go down as one of the FA Cup’s all-time greatest upsets. But it’s not going to happen and Chelsea will cruise into the fifth round.

Prediction: 4-0


Derby County vs Chesterfield

Derby’s priority this season will be gaining promotion to the Premier League and they’re doing a fairly good job of achieving that so far. Chesterfield themselves are in a battle for promotion too and this game presents the opportunity of a mini-upset but Derby should just have enough.

Prediction 1-0


Manchester City vs Middlesbrough

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City will be crushed after last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in the league but they need to bounce back quickly. And what better opportunity than against a Championship side whose priorities are trying to gain promotion.

Prediction: 2-0


Preston North End vs Sheffield United

Preston are going well in League One despite going four without a win. They should have a slight advantage in the sense that Sheffield United had to play a League Cup game against Tottenham in midweek so they may be suffering from that. The Blades’ cup form has been excellent in recent times though and that should be enough to bring the game back to Bramall Lane.

Prediction: 1-1 (Sheffield United to win the replay 1-0)


Southampton vs Crystal Palace

If this game was due to be played six weeks ago, you’d expect a comfortable Southampton win, but Palace look revitalised under new manager Alan Pardew which will make for a tight game. However, the Saints should just edge it and Palace will be subjected to their first defeat under the new boss.

Prediction: 2-1


Sunderland vs Fulham

This is a game that Sunderland could probably do without given the fact they need to concentrate on Premier League survival. Fulham look to be safe in the Championship and a cup run would be a welcome bonus. But the advantage of being at home and having Jermain Defoe at their disposal should see Sunderland through.

Prediction: 2-0


Tottenham Hotspur vs Leicester City

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Tottenham have been playing well recently, despite a blip at Selhurst Park when they lost 2-1 to Crystal Palace. Leicester have also picked up a few points of late to give themselves a chance of escaping relegation, and that will be their number one objective this season. Spurs should go through without too many problems.

Prediction: 2-0


Liverpool vs Bolton Wanderers (17:30)

Brendan Rodgers has quietly but effectively set about turning Liverpool’s season around. The Reds could do with a good send-off for skipper Steven Gerrard who will be joining LA Galaxy in the summer, so they will be desperate to do well in the FA Cup. Bolton have also turned it around under Neil Lennon but getting a result at Anfield will be too much to ask.

Prediction: 3-0


Sunday 25 January 2015

Bristol City vs West Ham United (14:00)

Sam Allardyce hasn’t always prioritised the FA Cup, so it’ll be interesting to see how he approaches this game. Bristol City are flying high in League One and will fancy themselves to get at the Hammers. This should be an entertaining game.

Prediction: 1-1 (West Ham United to win the replay 2-0)


Aston Villa vs Bournemouth

Villa Park will be the most likely destination for a cup upset this weekend. But in truth, it wouldn’t be all that surprising. Bournemouth have been scintillating this season in the Championship, while Aston Villa have been very much the opposite in the Premier League. I fancy the Cherries to win this.

Prediction: 0-2 


Brighton & Hove Albion vs Arsenal

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Defensive stability isn’t something we normally associate with Arsenal in recent years, but with three consecutive clean sheets in all competitions they’re starting to look solid at the back, which is the main reason I don’t see Brighton getting anything from this game. Arsenal’s attacking threat isn’t bad either.

Prediction: 0-2


Monday 26 January 2015 (20:00)

Rochdale vs Stoke City

This fixture has all the makings of a classic FA Cup tie. On paper, it looks as though Stoke will comfortably sweep Rochdale aside, but I get the feeling it won’t be as easy as that. The magic of the cup should be there for all to see in this one.

Prediction: 2-2 (Stoke City to win the replay 3-1)


Who will make the fifth round of the FA Cup?