Reds must dispatch of Warnock’s fighting Bluebirds – Cardiff vs. Liverpool Preview

21 April 2019

Liverpool make the trip to Cardiff on Sunday afternoon in another massive game, knowing only three points will do in the Premier League title race.


Cardiff vs. Liverpool

Sunday, April 21, 2019 – 4pm (BST)
Cardiff City Stadium
Premier League
Referee: Martin Atkinson


This is the best Reds for team for 30 years—it’s important to acknowledge that every now and again, whenever we get a chance to breathe during this relentless campaign.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side have now won eight matches in a row in all competitions since the 0-0 draw at Everton back on March 3.

The 4-1 victory in Porto on Tuesday night set up a huge Champions League semi-final clash with Barcelona, but focus must now return to league commitments.

Cardiff have given themselves a chance of an unlikely survival after an admirable victory away to Brighton in midweek, highlighting the fight in Neil Warnock’s side.

The manager is a gritty character who still holds a grudge against Liverpool—Rafa Benitez rested players against Fulham back in 2007, helping relegate his Sheffield United team—and they will make life tough for the Reds on Sunday.

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock . (Richard Sellers/PA Wire.)

Klopp’s men are riding on the crest of a wave at the minute, however, and key players seem to be finding top gear at the perfect time.

Player for player, Liverpool are vastly superior to their opponents and anything other than an away win would be both a shock and a disaster.

If the Reds want to win the title they must win matches of this ilk, as they have done throughout the season.

They will also be hoping for a Man City slip-up, with the champions hosting Tottenham on Saturday lunchtime.

It might not always be plain sailing at the Cardiff City Stadium, with a Southampton-esque feel to the game, but Liverpool should pass yet another test.

 

Team News

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Boxing Day, Wednesday, December 26, 2018: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has almost a full squad to call upon, although Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rhian Brewster are unlikely to be considered again this season, following long injury layoffs.

Dejan Lovren may still be missing through illness, but otherwise everyone else is available for selection.

Rotation may be in Klopp’s mind, although the excursions away to Porto weren’t too brutal and some key men didn’t play the whole 90 minutes.

The undisputed first-choice back-line of Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson should all start.

Joe Gomez made his first appearance since December on Wednesday night, but he is still working his way back to full fitness.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 14, 2019: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates his side's first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita are likely to return at the expense of Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner, with Fabinho making up Liverpool’s midfield.

Neither Wijnaldam or Milner did enough to merit keeping their place.

There is no doubt that Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will start, looking to add to their tally of 61 goals this season.

Cardiff are without Sol Bamba, Alex Smithies, Matthew Connolly and Callum Paterson, while midfield pair Aron Gunnarsson and Harry Arter are doubts.

Former Liverpool defender Lee Peltier, who made all four of his Reds appearances during the 2006/07 season, is expected to start for the Bluebirds.

 

Last 5 Meetings with Cardiff (All Competitions)

CARDIFF, WALES - Saturday, March 22, 2014: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the fith goal against Cardiff City with team-mate Luis Suarez during the Premiership match at the Cardiff City Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Won 4-1 (h) – October 2018 (Salah, Mane x2, Shaqiri; Paterson)
Won 6-3 (a) – March 2014 (Mutch x2, Campbell; Suarez x3, Skrtel x2, Sturridge)
Won 3-1 (h) – December 2013 (Suarez x2, Sterling; Mutch)
Drew 2-2 (n) – February 2012 (Mason, Turner; Skrtel, Kuyt) – Liverpool won 3-2 on penalties
Won 2-1 (h) – October 2007 (El Zhar, Gerrard; Purse)

 

Cardiff City Stadium

CARDIFF, WALES - Friday, June 12, 2015: A general view of Cardiff City stadium ahead of there clash against Belgium during the UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying Round Group B match at the Cardiff City Stadium. (Pic by Ian Cook/Propaganda)

Capacity: 33,280

Away fans’ pubs: To be completely honest, I can’t recall seeing many away fans in pubs near the stadium.

Considering most fans will be arriving by train, the Canton area is your best bet. It’s a short walk away from Grangetown Station and it’s where you will find a great atmosphere on matchday.

The Canton Cross Vaults is a great pub, as is the Corporation and the Ivor Davies.

One piece of advice for visiting fan: Make it a weekend break.

Cardiff is an amazing city and it would be a pity to visit just for a few hours—particularly considering it’s a four-hour journey from Merseyside.

Answers courtesy of View From the Ninian.

 

Did You Know?

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Wednesday, April 17, 2019: Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match between FC Porto and Liverpool FC at Est·dio do Drag„o. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Since the turn of the year, no player has scored more Premier League goals than Mane (10), with Sergio Aguero level with the Senegalese.

The 27-year-old has achieved that total in just 12 appearances, highlighting why he has been Liverpool’s main man in 2019.

Mane has 22 goals to his name this season, which is already the best tally of his career with four league games still remaining, and potentially three Champions League matches.

He is unquestionably one of Europe’s most devastating wide players.

 

Form

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Wednesday, April 17, 2019: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the third goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match between FC Porto and Liverpool FC at Estádio do Dragão. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Cardiff – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 2-0 vs. Brighton
Lost 2-0 vs. Burnley
Lost 2-0 vs. Man City
Lost 2-1 vs. Chelsea
Won 2-0 vs. West Ham

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 4-1 vs. Porto
Won 2-0 vs. Chelsea
Won 2-0 vs. Porto
Won 3-1 vs. Southampton
Won 2-1 vs. Tottenham

 

Klopp’s View

Speaking ahead of the game on Friday, Klopp praised Cardiff and the threat they could pose this weekend:

“People thought couple weeks ago they were done.

“They were really unlucky against Chelsea, nearly [won all] three points and in the end, zero. They responded really well, it’s impressive.

“Neil [Warnock] and Cardiff gained a lot of confidence and rightly so. It was massive against Brighton; if they lost that game, the fight for the league [survival] was finished but now it starts again.

“We have to show we are ready for this difficult fight.”

 

TV & Live Blog Info

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 14, 2019: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the 2-0 victory over Chelsea during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Cardiff vs. Liverpool is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 3.30pm (BST), with kickoff at the Cardiff City Stadium at 4pm.

Chris Williams is tasked with talking you through the action on This is Anfield’s matchday live blog.

He will be keeping you company from 3.15pm.

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