Having lost to Chelsea over two legs in the League Cup semi-finals despite that Liverpool were the better side, there was a natural concern that the difficult defeat could turn out to be a setback for a side that has only recently found its feet. A win against West Ham over the weekend was a positive sign, and Liverpool have another chance to prove they’re still on the right track today against Bolton.
Victory over the Championship side would also help to keep Liverpool’s best remaining hope of winning a trophy this season alive, with a series of upsets in the fourth round of the FA Cup having culled many of the favourites. With the title is out of reach and the Europa League a more difficult proposition given the remaining competition, if there is to be glory for this Liverpool side, it’s likely to come in the cup.
"We’ve said we want to win a trophy this year and we’re disappointed not to have got to Wembley in the Capital One Cup, so it’s extra incentive for us," said midfielder Adam Lallana, in line for a start against the Wanderers. "Every kid dreams of going to Wembley and lifting the FA Cup, but you’ve got to do the hard yards to get there, [and] it’s going to be another tough game and obstacle in front of us in Bolton."
Lallana isn’t expecting an easy match against the side that held Liverpool to a goalless draw at Anfield, but he is expecting Bolton to attack a little more now that they’re playing at home—and that could open up space for Liverpool to break into. Late on, this time around there’s also the possibility of Daniel Sturridge coming off the bench to provide a bit of clinical finishing in front of goal if it’s needed.
"It might be a different game going to their place," he said. "They might come at us a little bit more, which might make the game a little bit different. But we’re still going to show them the respect they deserve. We know it’s going to be a tough game."