English Premier League side Liverpool will face Championship League club Brighton at home at Anfield on Feb. 19 in the fifth round of the English FA Cup. Liverpool has been in the news for all the wrong reason lately, mainly due to striker Luis Suarez and his non-handshaking antics with Patrice Evra of Manchester United last weekend in United’s 2-1 win.
The team hopes to let their play make the headlines this weekend against Brighton, who’s last game ended in a 2-2 draw at home against Millwall due to a late goal by LuaLua. Liverpool and Brighton squared off earlier this season in the Carling Cup with the Premier League team edging the game by a score of 2-1. Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt scored the goals in that match.
Liverpool hasn’t played well at home so far this season, but they haven’t lost on their home turf yet. They’ve lost a lot of points at Anfield by drawing the majority of their home games, eight of them in total. Liverpool has won, lost and drawn in their last three games overall while Brighton has won two and lost one in their past three matches.
Liverpool has won both of their previous home games in the FA Cup this season. These were a 2-1 victory over Manchester United at a 5-1 drubbing of Oldham. Brighton surprised some people in the last round by upsetting EPL side Newcastle at home by a score of 1-0. Newcastle is above Liverpool in the league table so another win here wouldn’t come as a complete surprise.
It’ll be interesting to see how serious Liverpool manager takes this game and who he starts up front. Both Suarez and Andy Carroll are struggling this season and have about half a dozen goals between them. Bellamy is the club’s top scorer with six so far. They’ll have to play the game without the services of Lucas who’s out for the season with a serious injury.
Brighton won’t have Matt Sparrow back in the squad since he’s got one game left on his suspension. Will Buckley scored the winner against Newcastle and he’s scored seven goals from his wing position so far this season and should be healthy. Vicente Rodriguez is also expected back, but Tommy Elphick and Gary Dicker aren’t expected to play. Reyes and Mattock are cup tied and won’t be able to play.
Brighton beat Liverpool at Anfield in the FA Cup in 1983 and drew there in 1991. It wouldn’t be too hard to imagine the ninth-place Championship side to knock off the seventh-place EPL team, but while this game should be close, the best they will likely do will be a draw.
Sportsbook William Hill has the up-to-date odds of a Liverpool win at 3/10 with a Brighton victory at 9/1 and a draw at 4/1.