Am I riding my luck by predicting a Liverpool win in this FA Cup fifth round? Considering Liverpool’s distinctly average form on the road I think the answer is yes.
There are two massive advantages that Liverpool have over the champions league chasing teams as we come to the business end of the season:
- 1.Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham have all yet to visit Anfield and if you were fortunate enough to witness the standing ovation that the Red’s got at half time against Arsenal you will know that it’s not going to be easy for any of these teams to get points here.
- 2.No European football means Liverpool can field their first eleven in every game without having to rotate.
So I’m envisaging that the manager will persist with the same team that played against Fulham midweek and snatched all three points with a penalty at the death.
The one likely change is possibly for Brad Jones to get some game time between the sticks but he looked a bit shaky under crosses in his last outing and I’d be sorely tempted to keep Mignolet in goal for this game.
I suppose in addition Daniel Agger might revive his partnership with Martin Skrtel after the horrific errors by Kolo Toure in the last couple of games. It would be hilariously funny if you could see past the angst but managing to hoof the ball into his own net against Fulham is probably going to be enough to cost the big guy his place.
Of course the funny bit is seeing him looking around like a frightened rabbit after the event.
Arsenal are in a bit of a quandry with this fixture and would have much preferred weaker opposition to give them a chance of rotating some players whilst still holding the edge but you would have to think that if Wenger does go for wholesale changes then they are likely to be on the wrong end of the scoreline and I don’t see him doing that.
I’m backing Arsenal to win then at 6/4 at Skybet and hoping I lose my money.