Kenny Dalglish urges Liverpool players to fight for FA Cup final place

 

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 tomorrow 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 selection on 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.

"It's going to be a difficult selection as it always is but it's a difficult selection for tomorrow night 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 brilliant hat-trick at Carrow Road.

Losing the Uruguay international for the final would be catastrophic and defender Jose Enrique summed up what having this season's leading scorer 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 told the Liverpool Echo.

"We all know Luis is a very special player for us. He's been really unlucky this season.

"Wherever he has been, whether in Uruguay or Holland, if you look at his record he's scored a lot.

"I'm sure he will do the same here because he's a top striker.

"He always plays well, always at 200%. He showed against Norwich exactly what he can do and caused their centre-backs so many problems all the way through the game.

"He's played like that many times and had many chances and deserved a lot more goals."

Fulham visit Merseyside for the second time in three days, but despite their abject performance in a 4-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday, Dalglish will not underestimate the visitors.

"They're a good side, Fulham, and difficult to play against," he told liverpoolfc.tv.

"They got battered 4-0 at Everton on Saturday so I'm sure they will be a bit upset with that and they might be wounded animals coming to play against us.

"We will just play the best we possibly can and for us it's an important game.

"It's one we want to get three points from, and we'll put a team on the pitch we think can win and we want to win, then we can concentrate on the final afterwards."

PA

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