I know people dismiss it, but I still love the FA Cup. It gets it's fair share of stick because teams field weakened lineups in it, but I only recall them usually doing that when facing lower league opposition, for the most part, which is totally in bounds (except for that one semifinal Arsenal tried to get away with against United and cost themselves everything). But the first FA Cup weekend is the first sign of the new year being in full force to me, and a rite of winter. And unlike the Carling Cup, it doesn't feel like there are huge breaks in it and then it comes back and smacks you in the back of the head in the next round because you forgot it was going at all. Every three weeks, boom, next round. I've also never seen a team disappointed to win it either.
Liverpool's quest for a second Cup begins tonight, and the pursuit of the first Cup will have some bearing on who plays. With the Carling Cup semi on Wednesday, and Dalglish almost certain to field his best team in that, there will be changes. I'd expect the whole backline to shift, with Kelly, Carragher, Coates, and Aurelio/Robinson to come in. As for midfield, injuries kind of limit options. Spearing almost has to play because no one else can take that role. You could see Adam back there against a League One side, as Gerrard probably replaces him at Eastlands in midweek. He can rest then. Maxi and Kuyt assuredly will man the flanks or Kuyt may go up top. He'll probably partner Carroll, because Liverpool don't have any other strikers right now and Carroll can use the games. Shelvey also probably finds himself a start, and as for who would fill out the rest of the midfield I really have no idea. I'd like to think Henderson gets a rest, but we'll just have to see. Could be a kid, and hopefully it is.
I won't pretend to know much about Oldham, because I don't watch League One football and I'm glad that's the case because if I did I don't think I'd like what that says about my life. Shefki Kuqi is apparently there, and if he scores we can look forward to that dumb belly flop he used to do that somehow didn't result in a cracked rib or six.
Or at least we would if this game were on TV anywhere, but it doesn't appear to be. Not even an illegal feed or stream. I guess the audio from the Liverpool site is the best we can do. If you find one, feel free to post it in the comments and use it as a thread. Will make it tough for a wrap, but we'll see what we can come up with.