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Gus Poyet predicts testing trip to Liverpool for Brighton


Gus Poyet accepts his Brighton players need to produce the perfect performance to trouble Liverpool on Sunday.

The Seagulls were rewarded for upsetting Barclays Premier League side Newcastle at the Amex Stadium last month with a trip to Merseyside in the FA Cup fifth round.

It will be the second time this season that Brighton have come head-to-head with Kenny Dalglish's side after goals from Craig Bellamy and Steven Gerrard sent Poyet's side crashing out of the Carling Cup in September.

Poyet appreciates the uphill task that faces his players at Anfield, but has urged them to play without fear.

"The players know what they need to do in order to be competitive, because we have already played them this season," the Seagulls boss told the club's official website.

"They know how they need to defend, they know how strong Liverpool are and they also know their quality in movement, speed and technical ability.

"We need to be at our best to have any chance. We know that we have no pressure at all but, at the same time, we really respect Liverpool. It will be a great experience and very unique for a few players who might never get this opportunity again.

"If we are average and they are at their best we will have no chance. In some respects it's an easy game for us because we dont have a lot of pressure compared to other games this season, and it will be a pleasure to be managing the team whatever the outcome."

Having played both the Magpies and Sunday's opponents on home soil, the trip to Anfield provides a huge occasion for the confident npower Championship outfit, who are unbeaten in seven league matches.

And Poyet believes the chance to play at a top Premier League stadium is the perfect incentive for his team to put in an eye-catching showing.

"The players will not need any motivation at all because as soon as they start their warm-up and see the fans they will be flying," the Uruguayan added.

"It's an absolutely beautiful place to play football because of the history, the Liverpool fans and that Kop end, which is amazing."

Brighton are expected to be boosted by the return to full fitness of in-form winger Will Buckley, but have doubts over former Spain international Vicente Rodriguez.

Buckley was substituted at half-time in the Seagulls' defeat of Leeds last weekend and, as a precaution, missed Tuesday's draw with Millwall, along with Vicente.

Although Poyet expects Buckley to be available, Vicente will be given as much time as possible to cement his place in the travelling party.

"I'm 100% sure that Buckley is available but I'm not certain about Vicente," he said.

"We didn't want to take any risks with them, because of the quantity of players we now have. We also have a lot of games coming up."