Liverpool predicted line-up v Blackburn Rovers

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Liverpool look to keep their silverware ambitions alive when they meet Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup quarter-final reply at Ewood Park on Wednesday.

The Reds are fifth in the Premier League, eight points behind four-place Manchester United and look destined to miss out on Champions League football next season.

It's been a disappointing season for Brendan Rodgers' men and they have failed to capitalise on their second-place finish in the top flight last campaign.

However, they have a chance to regain some pride if they triumph in the FA Cup. Liverpool have yet to add a cup to the Anfield trophy cabinet since they won the League Cup in 2012 and Kopites have been desperate to see their side win another piece of silverware.

Blackburn haven't faired too badly in the Championship this term and held the Merseyside club to a 0-0 draw at Anfield last month to force a reply.

Gary Bowyer's men will likely look to frustrate the Reds, giving them no space at Ewood Park and look to nick themselves a memorable win.

Striker crisis

To say that Liverpool haven't been good enough upfront this season is an understatement.

Luck hasn't been on their side, with Daniel Sturridge having a lengthy injury for five months, however Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert all haven't cut the mustard.

Last Saturday, the Reds were thrashed 4-1 by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium and Rodgers had just two recognised strikers in his squad.

Balotelli picked up a knock in training last week and he is reportedly doubtful for the FA Cup clash. Given his performances this season, he would not be a suitable appointment to employ up-front in a game that will be ugly at times.

Borini hasn't been given the nod much from Rodgers this season and was an used substitute against Arsenal despite the Reds boss having little options on the bench. Liverpool could speculate £10 million for the former AS Roma man if he is to leave this summer and Rodgers will not want him injured to protect that price.

Lambert too hasn't had many chance and could also leave Anfield this summer after just a year at the club.

It looks as if Sturridge will lead the Liverpool front-line. The former Chelsea man still searches for full match fitness since coming back from injury last January and playing at Ewood Park against a lower class opposition would do him the world of good.

Sterling to be better suited

So much talk in recent weeks has been around Raheem Sterling's contract issues.

Whether he signs a new deal on Merseyside or not, he is a Liverpool player for the time being and it is about time the media stopped surrounding the 20-year-old with questions and let him play football.

Sterling won his side a penalty on Saturday running from a deeper position and that is the role where he thrives. The former QPR man is much better suited when he is driving at defenders at full pace and can be pivotal for Liverpool's effort.

Philippe Coutinho has been under the weather in recent weeks however he would appreciate playing alongside Sturridge once again.

The Brazilian is a magician on the ball and will relish the chance of playing through balls to Sterling and Sturridge ahead.

Henderson must bounce back

Liverpool missed leaders last Saturday against the Gunners.

Martin Skrtel and Steven Gerrard missed the game through suspension, leaving Jordan Henderson as the most senior player in the team.

Henderson unfortunately did not act like a leader on the pitch and failed to inspire his team-mates. The Wearside native did not get involved enough throughout the game and allowed Arse Wenger's side to crowd the midfield.

Henderson is expected to be made Liverpool's captain next season why Gerrard leaves the club for Los Angeles Galaxy, however Kopites do not have a lot of faith in him. The 24-year-old is still not seen as a leader nor as a player who has the ability to chance games. It is time he proved his worth to the club and a solid performance against Blackburn would help him enhance his reputation.

Lucas has returned from injury and will likely partner Henderson in the middle of the park. The Brazilian was poor against Arsenal, however it was his first game after returning from injury and he can be given the benefit of the doubt.

Moreno to be dropped

Alberto Moreno has occupied the position of left wing-back since Rodgers switched to 3-5-2 however his efforts in recent weeks have been nowhere near good enough.

He was caught out of position for Juan Mata's first goal when Liverpool lost 2-1 to Manchester United and Hector Bellerin easily skipped past him to give Arsenal the lead last weekend.

There will be a host of defenders looking to win his place in the team but I think it will go to Glen Johnson.

Johnson has barely had a look in since returning from injury however his attacking minded game will be suited to playing at wing-back.

Lazar Markovic was a regular at right wing-back during the Christmas period and after an encouraging but premature display at the Emirates he should return.

New defence

No Skrtel due to suspension, likewise Emre Can who was daftly sent-off against Arsenal.

It leaves the Reds in a defensive crisis and Rodgers will be forced to play a new-look back-four.

Mamadou Sakho is a regular in the Liverpool line-up and will be desperate to put in a big performance.

Kolo Toure was terrible against Arsenal and after an apparent falling out with Rodgers following the game he too will be looking to prove his worth.

That leaves one spot up for grabs and that will go to Dejan Lovren. The Croat cost the Merseyside club £20 million from Southampton last summer but he has failed to settle at Anfield. Lovren was responsible for six mistakes in the Premier League early in the season, more than any other defender and his Liverpool career has been in jeopardy.

He has chance to prove himself in Lancashire however and a solid effort could see him save his Anfield career.

Simon Mignolet made a number of fine saves against Arsenal but will have a new defensive ahead of him and he must be controlling.

Starting line-up

Mignolet; Lovren, Toure, Sakho; Markovic, Lucas, Henderson, Johnson; Coutinho, Sterling; Sturridge 

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Premier League
FA Cup
Blackburn Rovers

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