Liverpool v Stoke City: FA Cup preview

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Liverpool v Stoke


FA Cup quarter-final; Anfield; Sunday March 18; KO 1600




Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy is back in the squad after missing the derby win over Everton on Tuesday night.


Kenny Dalglish’s side will be buoyed after Steven Gerrard’s hat-trick sealed victory in the Merseyside clash, but his team selection for their second quarter-final of the will have to be made without Glen Johnson or Daniel Agger.


The Dane is still recovering from a cracked rib, but full-back Johnson has been mysteriously sidelined by what was called ‘a niggle’.


Tony Pulis will have to make do without Ricardo Fuller, after the striker’s blatant stamp on Branislav Ivanovic at Chelsea on Saturday earned him a red card and three-game suspension.


The Stoke City manager has already indicated Thomas Sorensen will take the place of Asmir Begovic in the Potters goal, while Peter Crouch is also set to get a recall after being rested at Stamford Bridge.


Kuyt: The Reds are alright


Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt has insisted the Anfield club have made great progress this season and is happy where they are.


The Dutchman also believes that the squad of players currently under Kenny Dalglish has sufficient quality to be a success in the long term.


However, there have been criticisms in recent weeks about their stuttering form and many have questioned whether the club have actually come much further since the arrival of Dalglish outside of their Carling Cup triumph – Kuyt opposes this view.


“We've made a great spell of progress, it's never easy when a lot of new players are coming into the club. You have to fit them into the team,” he told the club’s official website.


“But we have a quality group of players. Not only 11 players but a great squad. We beat United, we beat Arsenal, we have beaten Everton twice, but it's true that we dropped too many points in other games and that's what we're trying to change.”


Kuyt will be hoping to come back into the starting XI against Stoke on Sunday after being dropped to the bench for the game against Everton, as Liverpool attempt to find success in a second cup.

Stoke City
Dirk Kuyt
Steven Gerrard
FA Cup
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