The early kick off on Saturday see's high flying Liverpool welcome Cardiff City to Anfield for a game that could see the Reds move back to the top of the Barclays Premier League with a win.
Liverpool have been in electric form since their defeat to Hull City on December 1st, winning their next 3 games and racking up and impressive 14 goals in the process. In fact, if you go back over the Reds last 4 home games you will see that they have scored at least 4 goals in each of those games.
Cardiff City on the other hand have been on their worst run of form since getting promoted to the Barclays Premier League. Prior to last week's home win against West Bromwich Albion they had not tasted victory since the Welsh Derby against local rivals Swansea City back on November 3rd.
It has been another testing week for Malky Mackay with yet more comments from his chairman Vincent Tan causing friction between the pair. This time Tan has said there will be no money for new transfers in January. How long before Mackay is tempted somewhere else or before his position becomes untenable?
- The last meeting of these teams was back in 2012 at Wembley in the final of the Capitol One Cup. Liverpool eventually ran out winner on penalties.
- This is the first League meeting between the teams since December 1959 when Cardiff ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.
- Cardiff City have not won consecutive top level matches since 1962.
- Luis Suarez alone has scored more league goals than the whole Cardiff City first team squad.
Liverpool should remain unchanged from their impressive 5-0 demolition of Spurs at White Hart Lane last time out. Jon Flanagan should retain his position at left back after his best performance in a red shirt. Still missing are Daniel Sturridge, Captain Steven Gerrard and Jose Enrique. All three are expected to return in the New Year. Sebastian Coates is still the only long term injury that Brendan Rodgers has to contend with.
After recording their first victory in 6 league games, Cardiff boss Malky MacKay should field an unchanged line up. His only injury concern is over former Liverpool player Craig Bellamy who's knee injury could have cleared up in time for him to take a place on the bench for his return to Anfield.
It would be impossible to choose any other Liverpool Player than Luis Suarez for this game. With 18 of his 27 Premier League goals in 2013 coming at Anfield he causes visiting defences no end of problems.
As you can see from the above stats, Suarez is enjoying an incredible spell of form right now. He has scored the most goals (GLS), has the least minutes per goals (MPG) and the highest chance conversation rate (CC) than any of the other top 5 strikers in the division.
If Cardiff City have any chance of leaving Anfield with anything other than a heavy defeat then Marshall will need to be at the very top of his game. Although the players in front of him aren't scoring very many, Scottish stopper Marshall is having an excellent season, keeping 5 clean sheets and only conceding on average 1.4 goals per game.
There can only be one outcome in this game. Liverpool are in far too rich a vein of form for Cardiff City to have any hope of getting a result. I'd expect Cardiff to be well organised and hard to break down but if Liverpool score early it could be a long day for Malky's men. I predict a 3-0 win for Liverpool with Suarez scoring twice.