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David Thompson 17th Mar 2012 - 17:22

10/1 Stevie G must brace for Liverpool's Wembley date


Liverpool v Stoke

English FA Cup Quarter-Final

16:00 - live on ITV1

Match betting - Liverpool: 4/9 Draw 3/1 Stoke 7/1

Liverpool's emphatic 3-0 victory in the Merseyside derby last Tuesday will give Kenny Dalglish's players the belief that their 2011-12 season can be turned on its head. The Carling Cup champions will be keen to challenge for the domestic double in a competition that has, up to now, been kind to the Reds. Liverpool have been drawn at home for the fourth time out of four in this year's FA Cup and 4/9 says that they will be progressing to Wembley having won all their games at the first time of asking.

Tony Pulis on the other hand has not had the rub of the green in this year's competition. In contrast to their opponent's fortune, Stoke come up against their fourth consecutive tie out of four away from home, and the Anfield factor has seen last season's runners-up drift to as far as 7/1.

Steven Gerrard inspired the Merseyside Derby win with his three goals and Kenny will be hoping that the Liverpool captain can bring that goalscoring form to Sunday's fixture. For the Match Winner, William Hill have enhanced the price from 5/1 for Gerrard to score 2 or more goals to a massive 10/1. His comeback from injury has been a slow one and his class has been seen in glimpses rather than over the course of 90 minutes, however, at 10/1 the value on offer just has to be taken.

Another man whose services may be required in order to open up The Potters' disciplined defense will be Craig Bellamy. Having missed out on the Everton game the Welshman will be keen to contribute and put in a typically energetic performance. The pacey winger can be backed at 9/2 about first goalscorer and is a 6/5 shout to get on the scoresheet at anytime.

Stoke's approach will always suit a cup tie and it's expected that Pulis will set up his side with the intention of not conceding and nicking the winning goal. The Potters have won eight of their last nine FA Cup matches and kept clean sheets in six of the last eight, including the most recent two. They are 9/2 to keep a clean sheet at Anfield and the introduction of Peter Crouch will render him their match winner target. The lofty striker is a 10/1 shot about scoring the first goal and a 7/2 anytime shout.

Home advantage is always a factor and never more so when that home is Anfield. I fully expect Stoke to be competitive in this one however Liverpool's form could help them squeak through to Wembley. With that in mind the 16/5 available about Draw/Liverpool in the Double Result market looks like a good return. The value however have to be on Stoke, 7/1 on a club renowned for its cup game performances looks too good to be true and the 5/1 for Draw No Bet (Stoke) even allows for some margin for error. All-in-all some big prices on a competitive all Premier League FA Cup quarter-final to get stuck into!



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