Rodgers promises strong team

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says he will continue to pick his strongest team in the FA Cup as they look to continue their unexpected challenge for silverware this season.

Last Updated: 16/02/14 at 16:07 Post Comment

Brendan Rodgers: Planning to pick a strong team

Brendan Rodgers: Planning to pick a strong team

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The Reds face Arsenal in the fifth round of the FA Cup this weekend, a side they demolished 5-1 in the league a week ago to help lift them back into the title race.

And without the burden of European competition this season, Rodgers says he is enjoying the luxury of being able to regularly select his first-choice XI.

"We've got no midweek game so we can go as strong as we wish to go," said the Liverpool boss.

"It's probably different for Arsenal, who have a massive game after ourselves in the Champions League (against Bayern Munich in the last 16 on Wednesday), so they may have to look at it differently. We won't need to rest anybody.

"We want to do it for the club. Since I've been here we have changed the squad around in order to try and help us in the league.

"When I have made too many changes we haven't been good enough and that's seen us go out of tournaments earlier than I would want.

"This year we wanted to do well in the cup competitions - hence the reason why we've been strong.

"We want to get to Wembley, not for the semi-final, but for the final. If we're there for the final, then it gives us a chance to win it."

The Reds have been in superb form this year, collecting 17 points from seven games.

The one area in which they have shown some fallibility in recent months is defence, with them having collected only two clean-sheets against top-flight opposition since mid-December.

However, the return to fitness of centre-back Daniel Agger could be just the lift they need for the rest of the season.

"I like defenders to defend first," added Rodgers. "Everyone talks about ball-playing centre-halves but you have to be able to defend and be able to cope with that first.

"Obviously if you have the qualities then we want you to play because it is important how we build our game and there is no doubt Daniel Agger is an outstanding footballer."

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