Liverpool play Cardiff City at Anfield on Saturday afternoon; Jurgen Klopp’s side have won all but one of their home games in the Premier League – the exception being the goalless draw against Manchester City – and the Reds will be expecting three points against a struggling Cardiff side.
Despite their poor start, Cardiff’s first win of the season against Fulham last week means Neil Warnock’s team come into this game outside the relegation zone in 17th place; that being said, they’re firm underdogs against a Liverpool team yet to concede a goal at home in the Premier League. Follow it live:
And if that wasn’t enough relentless pessimism for all you Cardiff fans, here’s something from Opta:
The stats don’t bode well for Cardiff either. Liverpool haven’t conceded a league goal at Anfield since February, helped by the imposing presence of Virgil van Dijk in defence. Cardiff, meanwhile, have scored only once away from home in the Premier League this season.
A long wait
It has been a long time since Cardiff last tasted victory at Anfield. Close to 60 years in fact. They beat Liverpool 4-0 in 1959 in the early days of Bill Shankly’s managerial reign.
A repeat of that scoreline today doesn’t seem likely.
There are five 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League today, and we’ll be providing goal updates as and when they go in. Brighton host Wolves, Bournemouth go to Fulham, bottom of the league Newcastle are at Southampton and Watford play Huddersfield.
As expected, Klopp opts to make some changes, but this is still a formidable lineup. Joe Gomez and Andy Robertson are given a breather, and Xherdan Shaqiri drops out for Adam Lallana.
Liverpool to go top?
Avoid defeat today and Jurgen Klopp’s side will move – perhaps temporarily – to the top of the Premier League table. Their imperious form at Anfield, and Cardiff’s questionable away record, suggests that is highly likely.
Even Neil Warnock, probably in an attempt to soften the blow of an imminent heavy defeat, has admitted as much. It will be “virtually impossible”, he said, for his team to come away with a result. Maybe such fatalism will be justified by the end. Or maybe, just maybe, Cardiff can spring a surprise?
Follow all the action from Anfield here. Team news to come shortly.
Callum will be a long shortly with all of the team news and build-up to the game at Anfield between Liverpool and Cardiff City. In the meantime, here’s the latest from Liverpool and the fight to support Sean Cox, the supporter attacked outside the ground in April:
What time does it start?
Liverpool vs Cardiff City kicks off at 3pm (BST).
Where can I watch it?
The match will not be shown live on TV or online in the UK.
Independent Sport will keep you up to date with all the goals as they fly in via our live blog.
Highlights will be shown at 10:30pm on BBC One.
It’s a big game for…
Sean Morrison: It may well be a difficult day for Cardiff’s captain Sean Morrison. The central defender has marshalled a defence which hasn’t kept a clean sheet since August, and will need to play a blinder alongside partner Sol Bamba to stop the rampant attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
45: Liverpool have lost only once in their last 45 Premier League home matches against promoted teams – that was against Blackpool in a 2-1 defeat during the 2010/2011 season.
Liverpool played Cardiff City in the 2012 League Cup Final. After Cardiff took an early lead, Martin Skrtel’s equaliser forced the game into extra-time. Dirk Kuyt looked to have won it for the Reds, before Ben Turner’s dramatic last-minute goal took the game to penalties. Liverpool won 3-2 in the spot-kick finale.
Player to watch…
Roberto Firmino: So often the workhorse behind Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane’s exploits, Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino seems finally to be getting the plaudits he deserves. The 27-year-old, capped 27 times by Brazil and now a firm fixture in the national squad, scored on Wednesday against Red Star Belgrade, and will relish the opportunity to add to his two premier league goals against a Cardiff defence who have leaked 22 goals in all competitions.
Cardiff City 3 (Mutch 2, Campbell) Liverpool 6 (Suarez 3, Skrtel 2, Sturridge), Premier League, March 2014
Liverpool 3 (Suarez 2, Sterling) Cardiff 1 (Mutch), Premier League, December 2013
Cardiff 2 (Mason, Turner) Liverpool 2 (Skrtel, Kuyt) – Liverpool won 3-2 on pens, League Cup Final, February 2012
Cardiff City: LLLLLW
Liverpool to win: 1/10
Cardiff City to win: 25/1
(Odds provided by 888 Sport)
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