Daniel Sturridge could make his Liverpool debut as the Reds travel to Mansfield to take on one of the lowest-placed teams left in the FA Cup.
Brendan Rodgers is expected to rest several of his first-team players as Liverpool’s third round tie sees them take on a side who are ninth in the Blue Square Premier – 56 league places lower than Liverpool.
With Jose Enrique out for six weeks due to a hamstring tear, Rodgers may opt to field youngster Jack Robinson at left-back. Robinson has made four appearances for Liverpool this season – twice in the Capital One Cup and twice in the Europa League. Elsewhere in defence, Andre Wisdom will hope to retain his place after making his first start since November against Sunderland on Wednesday. With Steven Gerrard set to be rested, Jamie Carragher will expect to captain the side, while Sebastian Coates and Oussama Assaidi could also feature. Luis Suarez, Lucas and Daniel Agger are among those players most likely to miss out.
Mansfield manager Paul Cox has already celebrated once this week – he got married at the club’s training ground on Friday – and it will be his 41st birthday when Liverpool visit One Call Stadium on Sunday. Cox has managed Mansfield to victories over Workington, Slough and Lincoln City to get the non-league side to the third round and the former Notts County player has described drawing Liverpool in the cup as “a dream”.
Liverpool are overwhelming favourites for obvious reasons, but given that giant killings happen in the FA Cup every year the Reds will have to be wary of complacency. Prior to reaching the FA Cup final last season, Liverpool were eliminated in the third round for two years running. A strong performance from the Reds would be the surest way to avoid embarrassment on Sunday.
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