FA Cup semi-final: Agger, Carra and Skrtel start – Maxi on the bench
THE FA Cup semi-final derby sees Liverpool start with their third-choice keeper protected by a strong back-four.
That’s assuming it lines up as a back four – with Daniel Agger in for Jose Enrique there’s a possibility of three at the back but Agger did play at left-back in his recent games coming back from injury. Brad Jones is the goalkeeper, Peter Gulacsi on the bench if the Reds have yet more goalkeeping issues. Jay Spearing is also on from the off providing more protection for that defence.
Suarez and Carroll both start, something of a surprise perhaps, but Carroll certainly earned a start with his performance – and winner – against Blackburn on Tuesday.
That leaves question marks as to who plays where in the rest of the midfield. Gerrard, Downing and Henderson all start.
There’s a bit of a cavalry on the bench for Liverpool should it be needed, Maxi Rodriguez, Dirk Kuyt and Craig Bellamy amongst those raring to go if the 11 on the pitch don’t get going.
Everton have built themselves up as the underdogs for this match but after the run Liverpool have had and the red cards between the sticks that isn’t necessarily the case, particularly with the blues having been on a good run of their own. The blues rested a number of players on Monday but still managed a 4-0 win.
Both sides have players capable of being the stars of the show – let’s just hope referee Howard Webb hasn’t got his own eye on that particular title.
There will be a minute’s silence in memory of Hillsborough before today’s game. Tomorrow is the 23rd anniversary of the disaster that saw 96 Liverpool fans lose their lives. Supporters are also going to be handed posters – blue or red as appropriate – telling the world: “Don’t Buy The Sun”.
Liverpool: Jones, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Gerrard, Spearing, Henderson, Downing, Carroll, Suarez.
Subs: Gulacsi, Kelly, Enrique, Shelvey, Maxi, Kuyt, Bellamy.
Everton: Howard, Baines, Gibson, Heitinga, Jelavic, Distin, Cahill, Neville, Gueye, Osman, Fellaini.
Subs: Hahnemann, Hibbert, Jagielka, Stracqualursi, McFadden, Coleman, Anichebe.
Referee: Howard Webb
Today’s match is being shown live on ESPN in the UK. Kick-off is 12:30pm BST.