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Preview FA Cup 15/01/08 : LIVERPOOL VS LUTON TOWN

So you thought the romance of the FA Cup was dead?

Well you should have known better.

This year's third round action has so far turned up a whole host of surprises, including the exit of local rivals Everton who slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home to League One outfit Oldham.

But before we bask in the joy of teasing our Bluenose counterparts, it's worth remembering how close cash-strapped Luton Town came to causing a double case of Mersey misery when they held the Reds to a 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road.

Peter Crouch's second-half strike could not paper over the cracks of a below-par display from Rafael Benitez's side and when John Arne Riise put through his own net to level the score just three minutes later, it was no more than the Hatters deserved.

And so to a replay where Liverpool will be strong favourites to make amends for their display in Luton.

The Reds are no strangers to the occasional shock result over the years, but with Rafa and his players keen to maintain a challenge for silverware on three fronts, they are unlikely to make the same mistake twice.

A trip to Anfield is a dream come true for Kevin Blackwell's men and although they are bound to raise their game against Premier League opponents, Liverpool will be confident they can clinch a victory and book their passage into round four where they will face either Swansea City or Havant and Waterloovile.

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