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Injury-hit Liverpool turn to rookies for FA Cup

Liverpool are prepared to place their FA Cup destiny in the hands of youngsters as the Premiership giants tackle a major injury crisis.
PTI | By Agence France-Presse, London
PUBLISHED ON JAN 06, 2005 12:22 PM IST

Liverpool are prepared to place their FA Cup destiny in the hands of their youngsters as the Premiership giants tackle a major injury crisis which has engulfed Anfield.

Goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, who has been ruled out for three months, and midfielder Xabi Alonso, who faces 10 weeks on the sidelines, are the latest players to be ruled out of contention for Friday's FA Cup third round trip to Championship side Burnley.

Reds manager Rafael Benitez has also been missing the services of Milan Baros, Harry Kewell and Djibril Cisse and with qualification for the Champions League the main priority, a strong finish in the Premiership is vital.

Benitez has already shown faith in his Academy graduates by promoting the youngsters during League Cup ties this season and it's a tactic which has paid off with Liverpool making the semi-finals.

Stephen Warnock, David Raven and John Welsh were all included in the squad for the win at Norwich on Monday, and they look set to be joined by Zak Whitbread in the party which heads to Turf Moor for the tricky tie.

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