Date and Time: Saturday 27th October (15:00)
Referee: Stuart Atwell
Cardiff City will be looking to pick up a positive result following their win over Fulham – but face-off against one of the best attacks in Europe when travelling to Anfield to face Liverpool.
The Bluebirds won their first game of the season, beating Fulham last weekend in a six-goal thriller at the Cardiff City Stadium, courtesy of goals from Josh Murphy, Bobby Decordova-Reid, Callum Paterson and substitute Kadeem Harris as they moved out of the relegation zone.
That will no doubt give them huge confidence. However, they will now face-off against a Liverpool team, which is stacked with talent – and electrifying pace.
The Reds have been nothing short of scintillating so far this season, especially at Anfield and the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Robert Firmino can give the best of defences nightmares.
They have dazzled again this season, and Cardiff will need to maintain their concentration throughout because they have the potential to punish you in an instance.
These are world class forwards, so Cardiff cannot afford to make the same mistakes they made in the games against Manchester City and Chelsea, where they shipped nine goals in two games.
The Reds are on fire this season – and are level on points with leaders Manchester City. They are both currently on 23 points after nine games.
And they’re finding ways to win games when they’re not at their best and that is crucial, especially if you want to be considered title contenders and this proved to be the case in their previous encounter, as they ground out a 1-0 win away at Huddersfield Town following Salah’s goal.
Not even the Egyptian wizard has been at full flow yet, which is worrying. Not only for Cardiff on Saturday, but for the rest of the league as well.
He has, however, still scored four times in nine games, as well as chipping in with one assist in the Premier League so far this season and the Bluebirds will need to keep a close eye on the explosive forward at Anfield this weekend.
He also bagged his 49th and his landmark 50th goal in Liverpool colours in the week as the Reds strolled past Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Champions League.
The last time these two sides met it was at the Cardiff City Stadium during the 2013/2014 season. Liverpool were rampant as they thrashed the Bluebirds 6-3 in the Welsh Capital as Uruguayan superstar, Luis Suarez, bagged a sublime hat-trick – and they have a brilliant record against Cardiff in recent years, beating them in all four of the previous meetings between the two sides.
That includes the 2012 Carling Cup final as the Reds won on penalties to break Bluebirds heart in what was a thrilling final at Wembley.
The last time Cardiff beat Liverpool was in 1959 at Anfield, as the Bluebirds stunned the Reds, beating them 4-0 in a League Division Two clash.
The referee for this afternoon’s clash comes in the form of young official, Stuart Atwell.
The 36-year-old has taken charge of three Premier League games this season, producing a total of 14 yellow cards, without showing any red cards.
The last game he took charge of a Premier League clash was when Manchester City recorded a routine 3-0 home victory over Fulham in September at the Ethiad Stadium.
Nobody is expecting Cardiff to get anything at Anfield, but if they do pick up positive points on the road in Merseyside this afternoon, it would act as a huge bonus, especially taking into account they have two winnable home games after this one – against both Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Prediction: Liverpool 4-1 Cardiff City
It will take a miracle for Cardiff to get anything against the Reds today. Liverpool are a formidable force at home – and went the entirety of last season unbeaten at Anfield, as they finished fourth in the Premier League table.
It looks like they could be Manchester City’s closest title rivals this season and are currently level on points with the Citizens, in second place.
They will look to put the Bluebirds to the sword, despite Warnock’s men recording their first win of the season in their previous outing, as they defeated Fulham 4-2 in the Welsh Capital.
Cardiff will make it hard for Klopp’s men, but ultimately, Liverpool should have too much fire-power going forward and I am going to go for a 4-1 win for the hosts.
Liverpool will be without the midfield duo of captain Jordan Henderson and former Red Bull Leipzig player, Naby Keita. Klopp may name the same starting XI that strolled to a 4-0 win over Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Champions League earlier on this week.
Warnock, on the other hand, has a host of injury problems. Danny Ward, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Lee Peltier are all out for the Bluebirds – alongside the suspended Joe Ralls, who is also nursing a knee injury.
Harry Arter and Josh Murphy will be assessed. If the latter is out, the tenacious Kadeem Harris could come in to replace him following his goal from the bench during the 4-2 win over Fulham last weekend.
Callum Paterson could lead the line once again after impressing in the Bluebirds’ first win of their Premier League campaign.