Relegation-threatened Cardiff City will have a hefty task on their hands if they are to gain anything from the Premier League’s in form side Liverpool. Winning a measly two games in their last 10, the risky appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t look like it’s paid off, and with a fantastic fan base and financial backing from controversial owner Vincent Tan, Cardiff are set for a rebuilding process in the Championship come next season.
On the opposite end of the scale, Liverpool remarkable league form has seen them rocket into second place and are now unbeaten since New Year’s eve and have won their last five games including that memorable 3-0 triumph over rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford in their last outing. Furthermore, Liverpool’s deadly duo, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge are the most prolific strike pairing in world football at the moment and are sure to add more goals and inflict more damage on the Bluebirds.
A win against the Merseysiders will put them level on points with 17th placed Crystal Palace and in sight of safety. With points hard to come by in the Welsh capital, Cardiff will look at their next four matches as winnable game. Fellow strugglers West Brom and Crystal Palace lie in wait for the Bluebirds as well as games against Stoke City and Southampton. Gaining three points against genuine title contenders will be a welcome boost for Cardiff’s survival push.
PAST THREE MEETINGS
Liverpool 3 (Suarez 2, Sterling) Cardiff City 1 (Mutch), Premier League, December 2013
Cardiff City 2 (Mason, Turner) Liverpool 2 (Skrtel, Kuyt), February 2012, League Cup Final (Liverpool won 3-2 on penalties)
Liverpool 2 (El Zhar, Gerrard) Cardiff City 1 (Purse), League Cup, October 2007
Cardiff City have won their last five home league games against Liverpool, but the last of these was in August 1959.
Luis Suarez has become only the second player to score 25 Premier League goals for Liverpool in a single season (Robbie Fowler twice).
30% of Cardiff City’s goals have come from headers, the highest proportion of any team in the top division, while Liverpool (11) have scored the most in total.
Liverpool have scored more first half goals in the Premier League this season (48) than 16 of the other 19 teams in the league have in total this season.
Brendan Rodgers’ side have scored more goals before the 25th minute of Premier League games this season (24) than Cardiff City have in total (23).
Cardiff City have scored the highest percentage of goals in the second half (74%), while Liverpool have scored the highest proportion in the first half (63%).
Cardiff City win: 9.00
Liverpool win: 1.33
TV: Highlights on BBC 1, Match of the Day, 10:30pm