Kenny Dalglish dangles carrot of FA Cup final for Liverpool players


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The Independent Football

Kenny Dalglish has called on his players to stake their claim for a place in this weekend's FA Cup final. Liverpool face Fulham at Anfield tonight, but the most significant game in terms of their season is the Wembley encounter against Chelsea four days later.

Dalglish is usually adamant that he and his players focus on the next match only, but even he has hinted he may pick his team to face Fulham with one eye on the final.

"We've said to all of the players we want to give you the best possible chance to be available for selection on Saturday," he said yesterday. "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'll 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."

The striker Andy Carroll has returned to training after being left out of the squad for Saturday's victory at Norwich because of a minor groin problem.

Kick-off Tonight, 7.45pm (Highlights, Sky Sports 1, 10pm).

Odds H 4-7; D 3-1; A 5-1

Referee L Probert (Wiltshire)