Preview: Oldham Athletic v Liverpool - FA Cup 4th Round - 27/01 -k/o:16.00

Posted by ashleyrose-66 on January 21, 2013, 03:36:30 PM

Liverpool make the 43 mile journey to face Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park in the FA Cup 4th Round on Sunday.


The game will be televised on on ITV for UK viewers.   Kick-off is at 16.00.

The sides met in the 3rd round at Anfield last season, with the reds running out 5-1 winners after going behind courtesy of a sensational Robbie Simpson volley.  However, goals from Craig Bellamy, Steven Gerrard, Jonjo Shelvey, Andy Carroll and a first Liverpool goal for Stewart Downing saw Liverpool safely through to the 4th round.

Despite Oldham Athletic currently languishing in the lower reaches of English football, older Liverpool fans will remember the early 90's when Oldham were an established Premiership outfit, who on a few occasions had some very good cup runs, twice reaching the semi-final of the FA Cup, only to lose against Manchester United on both occasions and League Cup Finalists in 1990, where they lost 1-0 against Nottignham Forest at Wembley Stadium.

In 1994, Oldham were just 60 seconds away from reaching their maiden FA Cup Final, only to concede a last-minute injury time goal to a Mark Hughes volley for Manchester United.  Oldham would eventually lose the replay 4-1.
Athletic fell to pieces after that heartbreaking result and failed to win another league game all season which led to relegation from the Premier League.

These days, they play in League 1, but have struggled this season, and have not managed a victory in their last 7 league games; losing 6 and drawing 1. 
Currently just 4 points (this was written before Tuesday evening's game against Notts County, which is subject to a pitch inspection on Tuesday morning) above the relegation zone, having played a game more than their rivals, Athletic may welcome the FA Cup as a distraction from a difficult league campaign.

The sides last met at Boundary Park 19 years ago in 1994.   Liverpool took 3 league points as they triumphed 3-0, with second half goals from Julian Dicks, Robbie Fowler and Jamie Redknapp.

Oldham will look towards 20 year-old Jose Baxter, who has found the back of the net 9 times this season, to provide the fire-power in front of Liverpool's goal.  The young striker from Bootle left Everton in the summer despite receiving a new contract offer, to seek first team opportunities elsewhere.
Baxter is no stranger to the FA Cup and was an unused substitute for Everton in the 2009 FA Cup Final.

Liverpool made it in to the 4th round courtesy of a hard-fought and controversial win against Mansfield Town in the previous round.  Brendan Rodgers' side was given an almighty scare against the plucky Stags which should serve as a warning against Oldham on Sunday. 

Rodgers may resist the temptation to make wholesale changes as he did against Mansfield, but may have half an eye on the Premiership fixture against Arsenal at The Emirates 3 days later.

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