Contrasting fortunes for FA Cup quarter-finalists Blackburn and Liverpool

FA Cup

The long-awaited FA Cup quarter-final replay takes place this week and Blackburn and Liverpool enjoyed differing weekends in the build-up.

If Leeds thought Blackburn would have one eye on the upcoming replay with Liverpool when they faced Gary Bowyer's men at Elland Road on Saturday, they had a rude awakening. Rovers fielded a strong line-up with both their free-scoring strikers Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede starting against Neil Redfearn's men.

Rhodes was on the scoresheet in the 3-0 victory, notching his 17th goal of the season, while 16-goal Gestede was central to the resounding win, which turned in Rovers' favour when Leeds had midfielder Rodolph Austin sent off in the first half.

Blackburn now lie in 10th place in the Sky Bet Championship, but having lost their last two home games to Brentford and Brighton, will be hoping to reverse that form in Wednesday night's Ewood Park replay.

Meanwhile, Blackburn's opponents Liverpool endured a torrid Easter weekend, suffering an emphatic 4-1 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. 

Arsenal were in sparkling form as a string of top class goals decorated a win which could spell the end of Liverpool's chances of claiming a Champions League place. 

Liverpool's sole reply was a Jordan Henderson penalty, and Brendan Rodgers' preparations for the crucial cup clash have been further hampered by Raheem Sterling's contract dispute and the loss of captain Steven Gerrard and defender Martin Skrtel through suspension. 

Blackburn will definitely take confidence from the weekend's results as they look to claim their first FA Cup semi-final place since a 2007 defeat to Chelsea.

Liverpool, on the other hand, will be desperate to salvage something from a disappointing campaign where they have failed to build on the promise of last season's second-place finish in the Premier League. An FA Cup win would bring some welcome silverware back to Anfield, where they haven't won a trophy since 2012's League Cup win.

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