With Liverpool now being tipped as serious contenders for the Premier League title, you’d expect that they’d take it easy in Sunday’s meeting with Arsenal in the FA Cup, but Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that he’s not about to take his foot off the pedal.
In earlier rounds, against lower league opposition, the Northern Irishman took a gamble or two by giving some fringe players a run out. Embattled striker Iago Aspas scored his first competitive goal for the club in the win over Oldham Athletic and Victor Moses found the net for the first time since the 2-2 draw with Swansea City back in the fall when he opened the scoring against AFC Bournemouth, but neither player is likely to make the starting eleven against the Gunners this weekend.
A blunt “not really” was Rodgers emphatic response to questions about whether he’s tempted to rest key players in the cup clash this weekend. “We want to win the FA Cup, that’s our objective” explained the Northern Irishman who cited their lack of Champions League football, which resumes next week, as a major factor in his decision. “Because of the nature of games we have no midweek game so we can go as strong as we wish to go. It’s probably different for Arsenal as they have a massive game in the Champions League. We won’t need to rest anyone.”
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger pointed to Liverpool’s lack of European Football as a massive advantage in the title race with the Frenchman expected to rest up to six players for next Wednesday’s meeting with German giants Bayern Munich. Although the Reds already thin squad has suffered and number of injury setbacks as of late, Rodgers will be welcoming back the likes of Daniel Agger, who’s expected to start on Sunday, and Glen Johnson, who could very well be ready for next weekend’s meeting with Swansea City – things are certainly looking up.
A good cup run and a tilt at the title? It’s not even my birthday…