Bolton Wanderers FA Cup Replay Preview: Let’s Get the Job Done This Time

Joe and the boys go through the paces

With absolutely all due respect to Bolton Wanderers, we need to crush them this time out; if there’s one thing that we didn’t need, it was the added strain of another match in fixture list already packed to the rafters, so we need to make it count.

Fourth place and a shiny piece of silverware has always been the goal for this season and that objective is something that Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers hasn’t wavered from even once. After narrowly crashing out of the League Cup to Chelsea last week, the FA Cup represents the Reds best chance of picking up a trophy this season, but it really did look like we were trying to do it the hard way last time out. Dominance was asserted, avenues were found and chances were created, but much like in the trip to Stamford Bridge only a few days later, the goals never came.

We saw that change ever so slightly on the weekend in the 2-0 win against West Ham United in what will hopefully be a changing of the tide for the Reds. While it’s quite likely that Raheem Sterling, who opened the scoring against the Hammers, will be rested for the trip to Goodison Park at the weekend, Daniel Sturridge, who provided the second within 15-minutes of coming on, will likely make an appearance from the bench as he’s re-integrated into the squad following five months on the sidelines.

After turning down a number of offers during the transfer window to fight for his place in the squad, Rickie Lambert could be given a chance to impress against the Trotters with the likes of Joe Allen, Glen Johnson, Dejan Lovren and maybe even Mario Balotelli expected to join him with Rodgers confirming that he’s going to shuffle his pack for the trip to the Macron Stadium.

Bolton boss Neil Lennon, on the other hand, is also expected to make a few changes from the team that hung on for a replay during a tense outing at Anfield, but it won’t be through the same luxury of rotation as his Liverpool counterpart. Midfielder Darren Pratley has been ruled out of Wednesday’s meeting with a torn hamstring and ‘keeper Adam Bogdan, the undisputed hero of the first match, will also be watching from the sidelines with an ankle problem. When you throw Craig Davies and Emile Heskey’s collective hamstring problems into the mix along with the likelihood that Steven Gerrard is almost certain to make his 700th appearance for the Reds after recovering from the same problem, you don’t have to be a doctor to know that Lennon has a massive headache just brewin’ away.

The last thing we needed was another match; regardless of whether or not we win tomorrow, we’ve got five outings coming up over the next 23-days with the short trip to Everton on Saturday being followed up with meetings with Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur as the race for the Champions League places really kicks in. A two legged tie with Turkish side Besiktas when the Europa League resumes complicates that further, so maybe adding a sixth match to the docket — a trip to Crystal Palace in the next round of the FA Cup if we secure progression tomorrow — isn’t the best idea, but we all know the score here.

We want to win this thing and we want to do it for Stevie. With the Liverpool legend set to join the LA Galaxy this summer, we all want to see the Reds captain hoist one final piece of silverware before he rides off into the sunset — an extra match in an already busy fixture list? When you’re doing it for the skipper, it’s not even a concern.


Steven McMillan

Can’t find up from down or tell black from white, but doesn't care cause it’s all Red to him. When he's not pissing and moaning about all things Liverpool, he’s chatting nonsense with his multiple personalities — or his “entourage” as he likes to call them.

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