Venue – Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
Referee – Martin Atkinson
Date & Time – Sunday, April 21st @ 16:00
Current Odds – Cardiff City 14/1, Draw 11/2, Liverpool 2/11
Cardiff City Form
Cardiff had lost three games in a row before Tuesday night’s visit to Brighton. They won 2-0 at the Amex Stadium, ensuring the battle for Premier League survival continues for another couple of weeks at least.
The Bluebirds have won six of their 17 home games in the league this season, losing 9. They were unfortunate not to take anything from their last home fixture, losing 2-1 to Chelsea, after some poor officiating.
Not only will Cardiff be looking to take the scalp of one of the Premier League’s top teams on Sunday, but they will also be fighting for their own Premier League status.
Wednesday night’s win in Portugal was Liverpool’s eighth in a row in all competitions. The Reds have clicked back into the kind of form we saw from them in December.
It’s hard to see anyone stopping Jurgen Klopp’s side now, and the bookies seem to agree. Cardiff City, the home team, are priced at an incredibly high 14/1 for Sunday’s fixture. That must be one of the highest prices ever available for a home team in any Premier League fixture.
Cardiff City Team News
Sol Bamba, Matthew Connolly and Callum Paterson are all out of Sunday’s game due to injury.
Aron Gunnarsson and Harry Arter are also carrying slight knocks but both are hopeful of being available for selection for Neil Warnock.
Neil Warnock normally sets his team up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Gunnarsson and Arter or Joe Ralls at the base of their midfield.
Junior Hoilett and Josh Murphy generally supply the width in the attacking third. However, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing turned in a goalscoring performance in the win at Brighton during the week so he could be preferred again over Murphy.
Oumar Niasse is the lone target-man up front for Cardiff.
Liverpool Team News
Dejan Lovren didn’t make the trip to Portugal during the week due to an illness but he may be back in the squad for Sunday if fully recovered. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also stayed on Merseyside to continue his strict rehabilitation routine as he gains back his fitness.
Jordan Henderson put in another great 20-minute performance as a substitute against Porto so I think he will start on Sunday. I expect Fabinho and Naby Keita to be the other two in midfield with Henderson.
Joe Gomez got some game time in Portugal as well. It might still be too soon for Gomez to return to the starting lineup, however. Therefore, I think Joel Matip will keep his place alongside Virgil van Dijk in central defence.
Cardiff City XI (4-2-3-1) – Etheridge; Peltier, Morrison(c), Manga, Bennett; Gunnarsson, Ralls; Mendez-Laing, Camarasa, Hoilett; Niasse
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson(c), Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mané
When they last met
Liverpool won 4-1 when the sides met at Anfield back in October. Goals from Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané (x2) and Xherdan Shaqiri gave The Reds the win. Callum Paterson scored Cardiff’s consolation strike.
The last time these teams met at the Cardiff City Stadium, the game ended with 9 goals. Liverpool won 6-3 thanks to a Luis Suarez hat-trick, two goals from Martin Skrtel, and one from Daniel Sturridge.
Cardiff City 0 – 2 Liverpool
Neil Warnock’s side is still in with a shouting chance of Premier League survival this season thanks to their brilliant 2-0 win at Brighton on Tuesday night. There’s little doubt The Reds will be made to battle for every scrap in Cardiff on Sunday. But that’s what Klopp’s men have learned to do, isn’t it? No fear remains. If they meet Cardiff toe-to-toe and don’t wilt under the circumstances, Liverpool should pick up all three points.
** Please note – “xGA” in the Form Stats tables symbolises “expected goals against” **
**All xG stats courtesy of Understat.com and FiveThirtyEight.com