Though Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he will make changes for Sunday’s FA Cup tie away to Oldham, the Northern Irishman insisted that he will field a strong side at Boundary Park.
Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge will both travel and in his pre-match press conference, Rodgers stated that the FA Cup is a competition he would like to do “very well” in.
With Pepe Reina still out injured, Brad Jones will keep his place in goal, while in defence Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson are likely to miss the tie. Enrique is making good progress on his hamstring injury but Rodgers admitted that Sunday’s game is “probably too soon” for him to return, while Johnson has a stiff hamstring and is unlikely. This could grant youngster Jack Robinson an opportunity to make his sixth appearance of the season.
In midfield, Jonjo Shelvey is hoping to start having been on the bench for Liverpool’s last four league matches, while Raheem Sterling may be recalled after being dropped to the bench for last weekend’s 5-0 victory over Norwich. Upfront, Fabio Borini could be in line to make his first start since returning from the foot injury he picked up in November. Borini had come off the bench in Liverpool’s last two league matches and the Italian will hope for more minutes on the pitch as he looks to continue his return to full fitness.
Oldham have been struggling in League One and they go into Sunday’s game in 19th place, just four points clear of the relegation zone. Paul Dickov’s side have beaten Kidderminster, Doncaster and Nottingham Forest to reach the FA Cup Fourth Round, but have not won any of their last eight league matches, losing seven and drawing one.
A big cup tie with the chance of an upset is likely to be a welcome distraction from their league struggles, but Reds fans will be hoping for a repeat of last season’s FA Cup tie against Oldham, which Liverpool won 5-1 at Anfield.