Spanish duo Pepe Reina and Jose Enrique will both be missing through injury whilst Glen Johnson is doubtful…
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers faces a number of interesting selection choices this afternoon as his side travel to Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup fourth round.
In the previous round, where the Reds sneaked past non-league Mansfield Town, a number of established first-team stars including Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard were removed from the starting eleven to give others an opportunity.
Against Oldham a similar scenario is likely to occur although Rodgers did point out at his pre-match conference that he won’t be taking anything for granted at Boundary Park.
“We’ll take a strong squad because we don’t want to hold back… We want to win a trophy,” claimed the former Swansea boss on Friday.
“Of course, we want to progress in the league and get into those top four positions. It’s going to be difficult this season for us to do that but we’re certainly going to fight in order to get there.
“The cup competitions give you the opportunity to get your hands on a trophy. We enter every competition to win and this is a competition we’re still in and one that we want to progress in. You’re judged on your trophies.”
Definitely unavailable for selection is left-back Jose Enrique, who remains sidelined for another week with a torn hamstring sustained over the Christmas period.
Joining his fellow Spaniard on the sidelines is first-choice goalkeeper Pepe Reina who will again not be risked following a groin problem aggravated against Manchester United a fortnight ago. Brad Jones will therefore remain between the sticks, especially as Reina also suffered a broken nose during the 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford.
In addition Rodgers has a concern over right-back Glen Johnson who, like Enrique, has a hamstring issue, although in his case it is currently just tightness.
“Johnson has been stiff in his hamstring so we’re monitoring the risk in that for the weekend. Nothing serious, but something we’ll assess over the next 24 hours,” revealed Rodgers also at Friday’s press conference.
The ex-Chelsea man has been filling in at left-back of late with Andre Wisdom playing on the right. If absent, either youngster Jack Robinson or winger Stewart Downing will probably cover the position.
Jamie Carragher, Sebastian Coates, Jonjo Shelvey and Suso will be hopeful of featuring again after all four received rare starts in the previous round.
Jones, Wisdom, Skrtel, Carragher, Robinson, Lucas, Allen, Shelvey, Downing, Suso, Sturridge.
Vital Liverpool predicts a 2-1 Reds victory
Click here to read former Red Mark Lawrenson’s prediction
Follow me on Twitter @superbag
|Not a Vital Liverpool member? It’s a 100% free to join and get involved. Plus it only takes a few moments to sign up. Click here to become a member now!|