After last weekend’s handshake-that-never-was controversy, Liverpool will be keen to get back to concentrating on football matters and they can finally do so today, albeit again under the scrutiny of the television cameras, as they entertain Brighton in the FA Cup fifth round.
Given the fact that the visitors ply their trade in the Championship, it was inevitable that the Reds would be installed as emphatic favourites and that has proven to be the case, William Hill pricing Kenny Dalglish’s men at just 3/10 to book their place in the last eight at the first attempt.
The Seagulls are 12/1 with Stan James to cause a huge upset at Anfield, where Boylesports quote a draw at 5/1 but it should be a relatively straightforward afternoon for the Reds, who have already beaten Brighton in the Carling Cup this term.
That one finished 2-1 to Dalglish’s troops, a scoreline that is 17/2 courtesy of bet365 to be replicated, however, as that fixture was away from home for Liverpool, back on their own patch they could register a slightly more comfortable success.
Ladbrokes make them 6/1 to notch twice without reply, Partybets post 4/6 against a Reds lead at the end of each half and in the handicaps, Dalglish’s charges are 4/5 (Blue Square) to prevail when kicking off a goal in arrears.
In attack, it seems inevitable that Luis Suarez will be in the headlines once again although on this occasion the Uruguayan, at 7/2 (Coral) to break the deadlock, should be on the back pages for what his feet have done rather than what his hands haven’t. Suarez meanwhile, is 10/11 with Coral to add to his goal tally at any stage in proceedings.
FA Cup romantics will be eyeing the ties at the Broadfield Stadium and Broadhall Way, hoping that Crawley and Stevenage respectively, can upset top-flight opposition in the shape of Stoke and Tottenham; however, shocks look unlikely in both encounters.
The Potters went down to Valencia on Thursday, a game that could’ve taken it out of Tony Pulis’ side and they will face a red hot atmosphere in the backyard of the League Two high-flyers. Nevertheless, their Premier League pedigree should eventually tell and an odds-against quote of 11/10 with BetVictor definitely appeals, as does Paddy Power’s 4/1 for Stoke to shade it after a drawn first period.
Tottenham meanwhile, are just 1/3 with Betfred to overcome League One Borough and having kept clean sheets in three of their last four outings in all competitions, Spurs should be able to keep the home side’s attack at bay.