Saturday afternoon sees relegation-threatened Cardiff City welcome title-chasing Liverpool to the Cardiff City Stadium for what could be a pivotal match in both teams’ seasons.
With only 9 games to go, Cardiff City find themselves in real trouble and currently sit in 19th position, 3 points away from safety.
Liverpool, on the other hand, are in second place and sit only 4 points off the top with a game in hand on Chelsea.
The teams also come into the match with completely different emotions following their previous matches. Cardiff cruelly lost out to Everton in added time 2-1 and Liverpool came away from rivals Manchester United with a resounding 3-0 victory and one of their most impressive performances of the season.
Current form also favours Brendan Rodgers men. They are unbeaten in 2014, with 8 wins and 2 draws from their last 10 matches.
Cardiff City though have only managed 1 win in their last 5 matches and only 6 wins all season.
- 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 Barclays Premier League goals for Liverpool in a single season (Robbie Fowler twice).
- 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 could be unchanged for this game after an excellent performance away at Everton last time out. They still have injury concerns over Mark Hudson, Andrew Taylor and Ben Turner, with none of those players expected to make this game.
Liverpool should have an almost fully fit squad to choose from for this game. Only Jose Enrique is missing through injury. Any changes should be to a minimum, however, and that could see Phillipe Coutinho replace Joe Allen from the team that played Manchester United.
Former Liverpool player Craig Bellamy will be hoping to dent his boyhood teams’ title dreams with an excellent performance. Bellamy has found this season tough going. He has been injured, and under previous manager Malkay Mckay, he spent a lot of his time defending. However, he is now playing more central and can be more of a goal threat. Bellamy has managed to create 12 chances so far this season and will hope to add to his tally of only 1 league goal so far.
What else can be said about the Liverpool number 7? Luis Suarez has been the best player in this league all season. His goals tally alone is so impressive but when you count the number of assists and penalties he has won this season, it is even more impressive.
With 25 league goals and 18 clear cut chances created he really is a goal machine. If Cardiff are to get anything out of this game then they will need to find a way to keep Suarez quiet.
Common sense says that there can only be 1 winner in the game. However, football is a funny old game and Liverpool cannot keep brushing everyone out of their way.
Cardiff are fighting for their Premier League lives and will fight hard.
However, having said all that, there really can only be 1 winner and I predict that will be Liverpool by the odd goal. 2-1 to Liverpool with Suarez and Coutinho getting the goals.