JAMIE CARRAGHER believes FA Cup final places will be up for grabs when Liverpool travel to Norwich City on Saturday.
The experienced centre-back is keen to help ensure the Reds return to winning ways after last Sunday’s 1-0 home defeat at the hands of West Brom.
And with this weekend’s trip to Carrow Road followed by the visit of Fulham on Tuesday night, Carragher insists there’s the opportunity for players to nail down a spot for the Wembley showdown with Chelsea on May 5.
“We all want to play in the big games,” he said.
“There are two games now before the final and I’m sure the manager will mix it up because the Fulham game is just before the cup final.
“Saturday’s match could be similar to the Blackburn game. If you look at that game, I think a few of the players forced themselves into the side for the semi-final against Everton through their performances against Blackburn.
“It’s all to play for in terms of cup final places. Of course, if you perform well in these games, you have a greater chance of playing in the final.
“But we’re going into them to get three points because we need to move up the table.”
The Reds may have no chance of making the top six but they are involved in a battle for seventh place with Everton.
With four games to go David Moyes’ men are two points better off. Carragher admits finishing above the Blues is the target but insists Liverpool have already come out on top in the most important derby tussle.
“Of course we would like to finish above Everton but I’d rather win the semi-final, like we did against them, than if they finish above us,” he added,
“The most important thing was winning the semi-final. That was the big one.”
Norwich have exceeded all expectations following their return to the top flight this season.
Paul Lambert’s side are already safe in 13th place and are only three points worse off than Liverpool.
The Canaries secured a 1-1 draw at Anfield back in October and Carragher has been impressed by them.
“I think everyone fancied them to go down or have a real fight on their hands but they’ve come through it,” he said.
“They’ve kept a lot of the players who came up with them. I think they’ve got a lot of British players who have come through the leagues as well.
“Credit to them and credit to their manager – he’s probably in the running for manager of the year.
“It will be a very difficult game. It was difficult at home against them. We had enough chances to win but their keeper played very well.
“I think they acquitted themselves very well at Anfield and it’s going to be even more difficult at Carrow Road.”