Jamie Carragher will make his 500th appearance for the club tonight in this FA Cup 3rd round replay. He’s captain for the night, an honour that Steven Gerrard requested he be given on this special occasion. Gerrard is still starting the game though, alongside Xabi Alonso in midfield.
Ryan Babel starts on the left wing, with Jermaine Pennant on the right, providing service to what is possibly Liverpool’s strongest front pairing, Peter Crouch and of course Fernando Torres.
It’s a strong team and nobody could accuse Rafa of putting out a weakened side, with just one exception. The promise to Charles Itandje that he’d get to play in cup games instead of Pepe Reina has been kept.
Former Red Don Hutchison starts for Luton, who’ve had some good news today in that progress has been made in finding a buyer for the ailing side, with the potential buyers having made a loan that will allow Luton to pay wages and other costs in the short term.
This is a big game for the Reds – Carra’s 500th, a chance for a 4th round game against one of two teams that the Reds would certainly be expected to beat, and also an opportunity for the fans to show the owners that their treatment of Rafa was unjustified and unacceptable. All of this should act as a massive boost for the side, but it’s important the Reds aren’t complacent in their approach to this match, especially with the remainder of Luton’s squad now knowing that their futures might now be a little more secure.
Liverpool: 30 Itandje, 17 Arbeloa, 23 Carragher, 4 Hyypia, 6 Riise, 16 Pennant, 14 Alonso, 8 Gerrard, 19 Babel, 15 Crouch, 9 Torres
Subs: 40 Martin, 7 Kewell, 12 Aurelio, 18 Kuyt, 21 Lucas
Luton: 1 Brill, 12 Jackson, 4 Hutchison, 21 Keane, 3 Goodall, 8 Bell, 14 Robinson, 25 Spring, 10 Currie, 20 Andrew, 19 Talbot
Subs: 9 Parkin, 15 O’Leary, 17 Emanuel, 28 McVeigh, 29 Furlong
Referee: Peter Walton