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GUARDIAN – Tim Sherwood feels no pressure to give Aston Villa FA Cup edge over Liverpool

• Manager sees chance of FA Cup silverware as unexpected bonus• Sherwood: ‘I think the pressure is on Liverpool a lot more’• Rodgers: Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe will learn from mistakesTim Sherwood believes that all the pressure will be on Liverpool in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and hopes his resurgent Aston Villa side can capitalise on the weight of expectation on Brendan Rodgers and his players. The Villa manager said that, whereas winning the Cup would be regarded as a “priority” for Liverpool, his players viewed the prospect of silverware as an unexpected bonus.Looking as relaxed as he hopes his players will be come kick-off at Wembley, Sherwood was on good form as he talked about the letter he wrote back to the six-year-old Villa supporter who applied for the manager’s job when Paul Lambert was sacked – “I said to him: ‘No hard feelings, good luck next time’” – and offered a fresh, tongue-in-cheek, take on that footage of Raheem Sterling inhaling nitrous oxide. “Let’s hope he’s not laughing after Sunday,” Sherwood said. Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – Philippe Coutinho seeking a silver lining to his and Liverpool’s season

The Brazilian has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Anfield but wants it to end with tangible reward in the shape of the FA Cup• Liverpool’s lightning raiders too quick for Newcastle• Liverpool’s Ibe and Sterling warned over conductNot every Liverpool contract remains unsigned and gathering dust for months. In January Philippe Coutinho claimed he had not discussed extending a deal that still had three years remaining. In February he committed his future to the club until 2020. The exception is developing into the exceptional at Anfield.There was a moment during Monday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United that underlined the confidence coursing through the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year nominee at present. Gliding away from Tim Krul’s goal with three Newcastle players for company, Coutinho removed the trio from the equation with an outrageous backheel to Alberto Moreno inside the penalty area. The applause from Brendan Rodgers continued long after the attack had petered out. Continue reading…

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