Sixth round draw: Reds or Brighton v Stoke City

LIVERPOOL face Brighton and Hove Albion in today’s fifth round at Anfield but football being what it is these days the draw for the sixth round took place before that game has even kicked off.

The winners of Liverpool’s match will be at home, against Stoke City.

If Liverpool do make it through to the next round it will be fourth round in a row that both Merseyside teams are to play at home in the cup in the same weekend. The blues drew Sunderland.

If Chelsea beat Birmingham in their replay they’ll host Leicester. Meanwhile Bolton Wanderers will travel to play Stevenage or Spurs.

The games are set to be played over the weekend of March 17th and 18th.

Carra, Carroll and Charlie back: LFC v Brighton

AFTER last weekend’s league defeat it’s back to the cup today for Liverpool and Jamie Carragher makes a his first start since the last round. Daniel Agger makes way, the Dane dropping out of the 18-man squad completely.

It’s Luis Suarez’s first appearance since coming back from his ban – and for this one the manager has chosen to go with Suarez and Andy Carroll. Dirk Kuyt drops to the bench, as does Jay Spearing who makes way for Charlie Adam.

With one eye on next weekend’s trip to Wembley Liverpool have to take care not to take a result in this tie for granted. Gus Poyet’s side will be fired up and one of the reasons the game was chosen for TV was for the potential for an upset.

This is the first Liverpool game Andre Marriner has officiated on since the game in October which ultimately led to Suarez’s suspension.

Liverpool: 25 Reina, 2 Johnson, 23 Carragher, 37 Skrtel, 3 Jose Enrique, 14 Henderson, 8 Gerrard, 26 Adam, 19 Downing, 7 Suarez, 9 Carroll
Substitutes: 32 Doni, 16 Coates, 34 Kelly, 11 Maxi, 20 Spearing, 33 Shelvey, 18 Kuyt

Brighton & Hove Albion: 1 Brezovan, 3 Greer, 5 Dunk, 6 El-Abd, 14 Calderon, 8 Navarro, 25 LuaLua, 26 Bridcutt, 30 Buckley, 9 Barnes, 24 Vokes
Substitutes: 16 Ankergren, 20 Vincelot, 11 Noone, 15 Vicente, 17 Harley, 12 Mackail-Smith, 23 Agdestein,

Referee: Andre Marriner

Fake Plastic Respect

THE DAY Luis Suárez was charged by the FA for the incident with Patrice Evra the media had fallen over each other in a race to condemn Sepp Blatter for a comment he made about handshakes. What he’d said seemed to be along the lines of endorsing racism on a football pitch during a game – as long as the players involved shake hands afterwards.

It was a stupid thing to say and one that he’ll never live down, but if football was the kind of game the authorities want it to be – and that includes the English FA – the comment wouldn’t be completely without merit. But football isn’t a nice pleasant game played by people full of ‘respect’ for each other. It’s a regularly depressing game watched, played, run and reported on by far too large a proportion of selfish individuals. Respect in football is as fake as the outrage from the hacks who change their principles every time there’s a new line to go for to earn their crust.
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Time to get back to the football

WITH an FA Cup fifth round tie next weekend and a Carling Cup final the weekend after today sees Liverpool play their last league game until March. Their opponents, Manchester United, were knocked out of the FA Cup by Liverpool and so have next weekend off – but they do have a couple of Thursday night Channel Five games to look forward to in the Europa League.

Leading into this game the football is hardly getting a word – but that’s hardly unusual. Ferguson always plays his games in his pre-match press conferences against teams he sees as a threat and although his topic this week was something more serious than the usual ref-baiting he knows exactly what he’s doing. The media love to join in with it too, practicing their mock outrage and hoping for some headlines. Read more

LFC v Spurs: Suarez is back! (On the bench)

AFTER nine games out Luis Suarez was available for selection again tonight – but he makes his first appearance on a teamsheet in 2012 as one of the subs.

Liverpool scored three in the last game, against Wolves, and all three scorers start tonight – Kuyt, Bellamy and Carroll. It’s up to those three to perform well enough to keep Suarez on the bench and in turn keep their own places, to leave Kenny Dalglish with a selection dilemma he’ll not mind having.

Charlie Adam played a big part in those goals last week and also starts, with Steven Gerrard back in the starting line up having been rested for the game at Molyneux.

Jordan Henderson is left out of the 11, something that hasn’t happened too often this season, and he’s keeping Stewart Downing company on the bench.

Jose Enrique has picked up an injury meaning Martin Kelly returns to the side, possibly on the right with Glen Johnson switching to the left.

Liverpool need the points, having seen Arsenal and Newcastle pick up three apiece at the weekend – but Spurs are in the race for the title and need to win this to keep on the tails of the two Manchester sides.

The fog that was floating around before kick-off has cleared and as long as it stays that way the game is on.
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Football Aid 2012 – Play at Anfield!

WITH the transfer window closing last week it looked like football squads all over the UK had been finalised for the rest of the season…..however with the first set of Bidding positions closing at www.footballaid.com tomorrow there’s still the chance to book your place in the Liverpool starting 11 for 2012!

Football Aid promises you a unique opportunity to Live the Dream of an authentic match day experience; gaining exclusive access to the pitch and tunnel areas, pulling on your own personalised shirt in the official changing rooms, walking down the tunnel to the sound of a cheering crowd and ultimately to step out onto the hallowed turf and represent Liverpool in a never to be forgotten football match. And it’s all for charity as well!

Getting involved couldn’t be easier, just visit www.footballaid.com, select Liverpool and position, then place your bid – it really is that simple. Bidding’s available throughout the month of February with the last available positions closing on Wed 7th March and there promises to be some hugely exciting auction action in the weeks to come.
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Powar denies racism after 'coconut' jibe sent on Twitter

QUESTIONS are being asked about Piara Powar’s suitability as the figurehead of a European anti-racism body after he was accused of making racially abusive comments towards an Asian football supporter.

Powar heads up the Football Against Racism in Europe organisation, sometimes referred to as the FARE Network, and has been very outspoken about Luis Suárez, Liverpool FC and Liverpool supporters since the incident with Patrice Evra first came to light.

Yesterday an Asian Liverpool supporter received a message on Twitter, from @PiaraPowar, calling him “a coconut”.
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Powar denies racism after ‘coconut’ jibe sent on Twitter

QUESTIONS are being asked about Piara Powar’s suitability as the figurehead of a European anti-racism body after he was accused of making racially abusive comments towards an Asian football supporter.

Powar heads up the Football Against Racism in Europe organisation, sometimes referred to as the FARE Network, and has been very outspoken about Luis Suárez, Liverpool FC and Liverpool supporters since the incident with Patrice Evra first came to light.

Yesterday an Asian Liverpool supporter received a message on Twitter, from @PiaraPowar, calling him “a coconut”.
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Reds match moved for TV

ESPN have selected Liverpool’s fifth round tie with Brighton and Hove Albion as one of their live matches meaning the fixture will now be played on Sunday 19 February with a 4.30pm kick-off.

With Everton also drawn at home for the fifth round the match might have been moved anyway. Everton now get to play their tie, against Blackpool or Sheffield Wednesday, on the Saturday at 3pm.

Liverpool travel to Wembley the following weekend for the final of the Carling Cup against Cardiff.

Revised fixtures for 5th round of the Budweiser-sponsored cup are below:
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