Rejuvenated Reds ready for Bolton battle in FA Cup replay
Liverpool will be aiming to continue their rejuvenated run of from this season when they face Bolton Wanderers in the two side’s FA Cup fourth round replay at the Macron Stadium.
Brendan Rodgers’ revamped Reds, 6/1 with Coral to win the FA Cup, have overturned a poor start to the campaign, and are now on course for a European place from their Premier League standing.
The Anfield outfit, odds-on 1/4 favourites, will see the FA Cup as their best chance of claiming silverware success this term, as they prepare to face Neil Lennon’s toothless Trotters who, are languishing in 14th in this season’s Championship.
Both Liverpool and Bolton will have a second shot at progressing to the fifth round, after failing to break the deadlock a fortnight ago on Merseyside.
The Reds have been in great form both home and away, and will be confident on their travels to the Macron Stadium, having won five of their previous six away clashes in all competitions.
Last time out, Liverpool picked up their third consecutive domestic league triumph, easing to a comfortable 2-0 victory over West Ham United and securing a seven-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.
Star striker Daniel Sturridge made his long awaited return to top-flight action in the win, and immediately got back to scoring form as he netted within 10 minutes of his first appearance in five months.
The Englishman’s comeback has boosted his side’s attacking options, with Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert still struggling in front of goal, and is available at 3/1 to bag a brace or better having struck twice against the Wanderers for Chelsea in October 2011.
Since earning a defiant draw at Anfield, Lennon’s men have suffered a heavy 4-2 thrashing at the hands of Rotherham United and were held to a 2-2 stalemate with Wolverhampton Wanderers in their last outing.
The visitors could welcome back skipper Steven Gerrard after the midfielder was left out of the squad that triumphed over the Hammers, while in-form Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho could keep their places in the starting line-up.
Liverpool’s brilliant Brazilian recently penned a new long-term contract at Anfield and is 15/8 to net anytime, having performed brilliantly since the turn of the New Year.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 3, 2015
The home side brought in Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Amos on loan for the season, but Andy Lonergan could keep his place between the sticks. Bolton are 12/1 to cause an upset by winning to nil.
Former Merseyside marksman Emile Heskey made his return to Anfield in the two side’s first encounter after recently joining the Greater Manchester side, along with Icelandic attacker Eidur Gudjohnsen.
In September 2002, Heskey grabbed a late winner for Liverpool at Bolton in a 3-2 victory. However, the striker is unavailable through injury, with former Chelsea forward Gudjohnsen set to lead the line instead.
Bolton’s veteran attacker netted after 90 minutes in a 4-0 thrashing of the Reds during a league clash in December 2001, and is 10/1 to score the last goal again 13 years on.
The FA Cup looks like Reds boss Rodgers’ best chance of finally securing silverware at Anfield, with his team 14/1 outsiders to lift this season’s Europe League.