2013 was a fantastic year for Liverpool - the signings of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho have added real flair into the attack and keeping Luis Suarez in the summer was probably the best bit of business done across the globe.

Currently sitting fourth in the Premier League, the Reds have impressed throughout this campaign. A difficult Christmas period with back to back away games to Manchester City and Chelsea saw them drop six points. However performances weren't bad at all, and they deserved at least a point in each. Poor refereeing decisions is what really let Liverpool down. These two fixtures were played without two key players in goalscorer Daniel Sturridge and captain Steven Gerrard.

Champions League football is the aim for the end of the season. There's no reason why they can't. With the rumours of Mohamad Salah to arrive on Anfield from Basel, this makes it even more of a possibility to meet this aim.

Playing no European football has definitely helped Liverpool this season. Not playing the extra games has given them a break through the week and made their growing squad fresh for weekends. 

However silverware would be more than welcomed at Anfield. It is 2006 since Liverpool lifted the trophy. Despite winning the Carling Cup in 2012, the competition has by no means the credentials that the oldest knockout competition in the world has. The Reds reached the final in 2012 but were beaten by Chelsea and it has left fans crying out for another crack at the silverware.

They meet Oldham Athletic on Sunday, the side who embarrassed them last year and threw them out of the competition. As displayed last year, no side can not be taken lightly. Brendan Rogers must put a near full strength side out on Sunday.

With Steven Gerrard being nursed back to fitness, this is an ideal opportunity for him to rejoin the starting line up. However he must too play Jordan Henderson along with him.

Henderson has come on leaps and bounds this season. Many doubted him to be a key figure within the midfield with his skippers absence, however Henderson has done more than that. He's been excellent at getting up and down the pitch. Since November 13th, 72% of Liverpool's chances have been routed from the former Sunderland man's influence.

What the pair must do now is create a partnership within the midfield. Gerrard is nothing on his former self and must allow Henderson more freedom going forwards. This can be put into practise for Saturday.

Rogers must too play his strongest defence possible. There have been several chops and changes at the back this season from the Northern Irishman. Liverpool cannot afford any silly mistakes against Oldham, as displayed last time out. 

I'd like to see Luis Suarez too feature. Although he has played a lot of games this season, without Daniel Sturridge it's hard to see where the goals come from. Raheem Sterling has netted a few times recently but two were assisted by Suarez and were simple finishes.

With Arsenal meeting Tottenham, this already removes a key threat to their cup dreams. Manchester United meet Swansea at home, which they have lost four times at home this season. This could quite possibly happen again. Chelsea don't have a straight forward task at Derby County who are going well in the Championship and Jose Mourinho's men haven't been as consistent as he has wanted them to be.

Furthermore, with all English sides left in the Champions League and Tottenham in the Europa League, it contributes on the ever piling fixtures they have.

Liverpool have displayed they can hang with the best. Beating United at home, thrashing Tottenham away and being unlucky against both City and Chelsea highlights this. 

It is the FA Cup after all and who knows what can happen in one off games. All that Brendan Rodgers can do is play his strongest side and hope the eleven men he chooses do the business on the pitch.

 

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Topics:
Liverpool
FA Cup
Football