Liverpool comes into the matchup winning three of its last four games and currently sits eighth in the English Premier League standings with 31 points. Mansfield Town has won two of its last three Blue Square Premier games and sits in ninth place in the current standings with 35 points.
To make it this far in the FA Cup, Mansfield Town barely escaped Lincoln in a 2-1 victory with a tie-breaking goal in the 77th minute—having tied Lincoln just over a week prior. Liverpool is partaking in its first FA Cup battle this year.
It what should be a closely-contested matchup, here’s more information on the third-round FA Cup contest between Mansfield Town and Liverpool.
Where: Field Mill, Quarry Lane, Mansfield
When: Sunday, Jan. 6, 11:00 a.m. ET
Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go
TV Information: Fox Soccer
Mansfield Town Keys to Victory
Mansfield Town can overtake Liverpool if it gets its two best strikers going early, Jake Speight and Matt Green. The duo has combined for 16 goals this season, three coming in FA Cup play.
If Liverpool plays lockdown defense against Speight and Green, Mansfield Town is going to need one of its other strikers to step up because goals will not come easy against Liverpool goalie Jose Reina. Louis Briscoe and Matt Rhead are the only other two players on Mansfield Town with goals during the FA Cup.
Liverpool Keys to Victory
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers should look to play Daniel Sturridge—who recently signed with the club—as much as possible. Even if he doesn’t start, it will be good for Sturridge to get some time on the pitch with his new teammates and could turn out to be a key asset off the bench.
If Rodgers is going to give Sturridge some time, he may end up sitting Luis Suarez, according to Matthew Wade of ESPN:
Mansfield Town will have a tough time slowing down Suarez—if he plays—who has been red-hot as of late. The Liverpool forward has scored 15 goals this season and has been a major contributor to the team’s recent success.
It will also be interesting to see how well—or poorly—Mansfield Town goalie Alan Marriott plays against Liverpool. He’s going to have to be on his best game if he’s going to give his team a shot at winning, or at least playing to a draw.
In the end, Liverpool should come out on top with a 2-1 victory over Mansfield Town. Suarez will kick one past Marriott early, but Jake Speight of Mansfield Town will tie the match up in the 50th minute. In the 65th minute, however, Liverpool will pull away with a goal from Daniel Sturridge off the bench. The Liverpool defense will prevail in the final minutes and Liverpool will take the win.