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Everton slip to third successive defeat

Everton
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Dalglish confident over duo

Kenny Dalglish has predicted Craig Bellamy and Daniel Agger will both be fit for Liverpool's Carling Cup final showdown with Cardiff on Sunday.

• Bellamy to play final Wales game
• Jolly: Brighton aid Reds' progress

Bellamy and Agger were both absent from the matchday squad for the Reds' 6-1 FA Cup fifth round win over Brighton at Anfield. The victory, in their absence, maintains Liverpool's assault on two domestic trophies this season.

Their best chance comes in the Carling Cup, where Championship side Cardiff await at Wembley in a game Liverpool are strong favourites to win.

Key to their chances will be Bellamy and Agger. Bellamy scored the goal that booked Liverpool's ticket to the final, while Agger has formed a solid defensive partnership with Martin Skrtel that has proven to be the second-best in the Premier League this season behind Manchester City.

Jamie Carragher and Dirk Kuyt would be likely deputies if Bellamy and Agger did not regain their fitness, but Dalglish is confident both men will be ready for Cardiff.

"There are no injuries from the [Brighton] game as far as we know but we had a couple on Friday and Saturday with Bellars and Daniel Agger," Dalglish said. "We'll just have to see how they are but they should be all right."

Liverpool are aiming to win their first major trophy since 2006 in Sunday's Carling Cup final. Carragher scored an own goal back in that FA Cup triumph over West Ham six years ago, but he is prepared for a place on the bench against Cardiff if Agger resumes his partnership with Skrtel.

"Of course, every player wants to play," Carragher said, "but I went out of the team through injury and other players have come in and played well. The manager has been fair to those players and rightly so.

"Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel have been two of our best players. I've got to wait my turn, just as other players had to wait their turn when I'd been playing for so long."

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