Wednesday 18 October 2017

Dalglish tells players to fight for Cup final places

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has urged his players to stake their claim for a place in this weekend's FA Cup final.

The Reds face Fulham at Anfield this evening but the most significant game in terms of their season is the Wembley encounter against Chelsea four days later.

Dalglish is usually adamant he and his players focus on the next match only, but even he has hinted he may pick his team to face the Cottagers with one eye on the final, in which Liverpool could win their second trophy of the campaign.

"We've said to all of the players we want to give you the best possible chance to be available for Saturday," said the Scot.

"We want the strongest possible squad we can to pick from for Saturday's game, and there are many ways we can do it.

"If someone needs a break we'll give them a break and if someone needs a game we will give them a game, because every single one of them are more than capable of playing in a cup final for this club.

DIFFICULT

"It's going to be a difficult selection as it always is but it's a difficult selection for (Fulham) as well. Everybody will be treated fairly and equally and everybody will be allowed to put their CV in for selection on Saturday."

Striker Andy Carroll has returned to training having been left out of the squad for Saturday's victory at Norwich as a precaution because of a minor groin problem.

However, Dalglish is unlikely to take any risks ahead of the cup final and that could mean other key players are held back.

It leaves the Reds boss with an interesting decision over Luis Suarez, who scored a hat-trick at Carrow Road. Losing the Uruguay international for the final would be catastrophic and defender Jose Enrique summed up what having him in the side means.

"Luis is so important for us. It's great to see him doing well and I hope he can score a few more before the end of the season," he said. "We all know Luis is a very special player for us. Wherever he has been, if you look at his record he's scored a lot."

Irish Independent

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