Amid all the over-the-top eulogies over Steven Gerrard, considering the soon-to-be-departed Liverpool midfielder hasn’t even retired from playing, the Reds have an FA Cup tie to play on Monday night.
While the match is likely to be dominated by the armband-wearing number eight, there is one man who must see the game as a perfect opportunity to log some game time under his belt.
Rickie Lambert last started a game for Liverpool in the 1-1 draw with Basel that sealed their exit from the Champions League in early December, since then Raheem Sterling has been the striker of choice for Brendan Rodgers and Lambert has been restricted almost exclusively to cameo substitute appearances.
A trip to face League Two AFC Wimbledon will surely prompt the Northern Irishman to make a few changes to his starting lineup, with the English international at the front of the queue to benefit from a shuffling of the pack.
In anticipation of such an event, Ladbrokes have boosted Lambert’s price to score the first goal of the game at Kingsmeadow to 9/2 from 7/2.
Lambert has a steady scoring record in the FA Cup, having netted 11 times in 21 appearances across his career.
His most prolific period came during the 2007/08 campaign with Bristol Rovers, scoring six times in eight starts for the Pirates as they reached the Sixth Round.
After moving to Southampton following that season, Lambert notched five times in 11 games for the Saints and will be confident of opening his Cup tally for the Reds against an opposition who have just eight clean sheets to their name in the league, from 23 games.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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