Bowyer needs best from Rovers forwards for Liverpool FA Cup clash
Since drawing 0-0 with Bolton Wanderers in round four, Liverpool have won five straight Anfield matches across all competitions. They are 7/4 favourites with Coral lift the FA Cup, and strongly odds-on at 3/10 to beat quarter-final opponents Blackburn Rovers.
Gary Bowyer’s men may be 10/1 rank outsiders to pulled off an upset on Merseyside, but Rovers already have two Premier League scalps from the previous two rounds. Punters who point to Blackburn beating Stoke and Swansea both being at home should still consider a draw at 9/2.
Stand-in Reds skipper Jordan Henderson has struck first in the last two games coming into this cup clash, and awesome odds of 8/1 say he shall grab the opener again. Henderson is safer at 11/4 in the anytime market.
This leadership by example has seen many commentators call for Henderson to replace Steven Gerrard on a permanent basis when the Kop idol leaves Liverpool for LA Galaxy this summer. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is keen to downplay similarities between the two, however.
“There is no comparison,” said Rodgers at his pre-match FA Cup press conference. “People should stop trying to put pressure on a young player like Jordan.
“Just because Jordan takes corners, doesn’t mean he’s the next Steven Gerrard. Just because he shoots from outside the box, doesn’t mean he’s the next Steven Gerrard.”
Speaking of Gerrard, he returned to training this week, and Rodgers must consider throwing his straight back in as the Anfield icon has four career goals against Rovers. Gerrard is 5/4 to add to that tally anytime.
Philippe Coutinho, meanwhile, has cemented his place in Dunga’s Brazil squad with another Samba Boys call-up for their Copa America preparations later this month after two stunning strikes in his last three league outings. He’s a superb 7/4 to score again.
For Blackburn and Bowyer, it’s all about 28-goal partnership Rudy Gestede and Jordan Rhodes, equal 7/2 chances to net anytime here. Having kept hold of this dynamic front duo in the winter window, there’s no reason not to go for it at Anfield and field both.
In the last 16 against Stoke, however, Norway and former Manchester United forward Josh King hit a hat-trick. While a repeat performance is massively unlikely at 100/1, anytime scorer odds of 5/1 are well worth taking.
Some punters will fancy Liverpool to lay down a major marker against Rovers, though, with enhanced odds of 5/2 available for them to win by three or more goals on Sunday (max stake £20).