By Ian Palmer
Blackburn Rovers of the English Championship League will host Premier League club Liverpool on Wednesday. April 8 in a replay of their FA Cup quarterfinal clash. The first match at Anfield ended in a 0-0 draw last month. The winners of this showdown will face Premier League team Aston Villa in a semifinal clash at Wembley on April 19. Blackburn enters the match in 10th place in the 24-team-league of England’s second-tier division while Liverpool sits in fifth place in the 20-team Premier League. The Reds have 16 wins, six draws and nine defeats with 45 goals scored and 36 conceded for 54 points in 31 games.
Blackburn has 15 wins, 12 draws and 13 losses in 40 games with 54 goals scored and 50 allowed for 57 points. They’re coming off of a 3-0 away win over Leeds United on the weekend. Liverpool were one of the hottest teams on the planet recently with a 13-game unbeaten streak going since December, but they’ve cooled down considerably with two straight losses. They were beaten 2-1 at home by Manchester United two games ago and then dropped a 4-1 decision in London to Arsenal on the weekend.
Blackburn vs Liverpool: bet365 lists Liverpool as favorites to win at 8/13 with Blackburn 9/2 and a 90-minute draw at 14/5.bet365 lists Liverpool as favorites to win the replay at 8/13 with Blackburn 9/2 and a 90-minute draw at 14/5.
Blackburn has four wins, a draw and a loss in their past six contests, and Scottish international forward Jordan Rhodes is having a fine year with 17 goals to his name. Blackburn has won the FA Cup six times, but their last triumph was way back in 1928 when they beat Huddersfield Town 3-1. Their last trophy was won in 2000/2001 when they won the English League Cup. Liverpool has won the FA Cup seven times with the last victory being in 2005/06 when they edged West Ham United in a penalty shootout. They have three wins, a draw and two defeats in their past half dozen matches.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will be without defenders Emre Can and Martin Skrtel as well as team captain and midfielder Steven Gerrard as they’re all sitting out with suspensions. In addition, Italian international striker Mario Balotelli is injured yet again and the benchwarmer isn’t expected to dress for the game and neither is Jordan Ibe. Blackburn is in worse shape when it comes to injures since David Dunn, Craig Conway, Josh King and Grant Hanley are expected to miss the match and Rudy Gestede, Chris Taylor, Chris Brown and Simon Eastwood are all questionable. In addition, former Liverpool player Jay Spearing is cup-tied and David Raya, John O’Sullivan and Paul Taylor are also ineligible to play
Liverpool has won three of their past meetings with Blackburn. The Rovers last win came in January of 2011 with a 3-1 triumph at home. A total of 17 goals have been scored in their past six encounters even though the last one ended in a 0-0 draw. There must be a winner in this contest. Therefore if the game ends in a draw it will go to 30 minutes of extra time and then to a shootout if it’s still tied. bet365 lists Liverpool as favorites to win the replay at 8/13 with Blackburn 9/2 and a 90-minute draw at 14/5.