Huffpost UK Sport
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Daniel Sandison Headshot

Form Is Temporary: Why Liverpool Will Triumph at Wembley

Posted: Updated:

When Liverpool face off against Everton in this weekend's FA Cup Semi-Final, it will be the reds' second trip to the national stadium this year, February's Carling Cup success being their first time at the 'New Wembley', which is now over half a decade old.

Dalglish's men are in contention for their second piece of silverware, and have qualified for European competition next season. So, why is it apparently all going wrong for the club, who at one point last season were propping up the table, during the hapless reign of Roy Hodgson?

A dire run of form in 2012, and underperforming big money purchases have left Liverpool well adrift of the top six in the Premier League. They find themselves battling it out with their FA Cup opponents, and local rivals, for what could be a disappointing seventh place finish, and sections of fans and media are already gleefully calling for Dalglish's head.

Success in the cup however, could buy Dalglish some much-needed time at Anfield, and prevent John Henry from wielding the axe as eagerly as he did with Hodgson, Comolli and managers in his role as principal owner of the Boston Red Sox.

Despite Liverpool's recent stuttering performances and a resurgent Everton side, the reds go into this weekends tie as favourites, and you can't look past the seven time winners, when choosing who will progress to this year's final.

Whilst Everton looked impressive against Sunderland, and are playing some intricate, neat football of late, Liverpool are undeniably capable of a result on the big occasion. If they exhibit the guile and determination that they showed in the closing stages of Tuesday's Blackburn fixture, it could see them triumph.

If any other top-tier side were heading into a semi-final, equipped with a third choice goalkeeper, a misfiring front line, and a midfield who have struggled all season, you wouldn't be quick to lay a bet in their favour, however a Merseyside derby is a different beast all together.

Liverpool have had the upper hand against Everton, and the blue half of Merseyside, trophyless for 17 years, come into this tie with an equal amount of pressure placed upon them. They may be facing what is conceivably the weakest Liverpool side for some time, but David Moyes would be wise not to underestimate his opponents. If Luis Suarez is on song, and more experienced players step up their game, Liverpool can comfortably control this Everton side.

Without getting all teary-eyed and over-emotional, Saturday will be special for both sets of fans, and is the first time they have met at Wembley since 1989, when a city was unified in grief over Hillsborough.

Both sides have underperformed this season, but an FA Cup Final could save their manager's blushes and add a flourish to otherwise dismal campaigns, and for Kenny Dalglish it could allow him another season to turn Liverpool's fortunes around. There's a lot on the line.

Around the Web

Comolli leaves Liverpool

Mark Lawrenson: Liverpool FC's heart and character proved in Blackburn win

Damien Comolli Liverpool FC FA Cup

Liverpool FC officially bored with football, invent new game

Liverpool FC still favourites in FA Cup semi-final against Everton says Steve ...