Joint top with Manchester City and still unbeaten in the League, Liverpool go in to the meeting with Cardiff City tomorrow more than prepared to keep their good run going having won their last four meetings in all competitions with the Blue Birds.
Putting four unanswered goals past Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday night, the Reds reclaimed top spot in their Champions League Group and look well placed to secure a spot in next round — but that’s talk for another day as punters shift their focus back to the Premier League and having a online betting adventure with the pools as they back the Merseysiders to take all three-points on Saturday.
Despite the suggestions that their front three isn’t quite clicking the way everyone expected, each of them managed to find the net against the Serbian side as a fine double from Mohamed Salah was sandwiched by Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane strikes. Cardiff, who have only just gotten off the mark in the Premier League with a 4-2 win against Fulham last weekend, will have their work cut out for them and veteran boss Neil Warnock has no illusions to the contrary.
“It is virtually impossible for any team in the current game. Their front three is probably the best front three in the world,” said the Englishman, understanding exactly what his side are coming up against. “But we’re playing quite well – I think we can cause them problems. You have to go there and believe you can,” continued Warnock. “We all have to play to the top of our potential to give them a good game and hope that they’re having a bit of an off day.”
Planning ahead, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp could make a few changes to the starting eleven that ran out winners mid-week with Dejan Lovren or Joel Matip coming in to the back-line for either Joe Gomez or Virgil van Dijk. Since both Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita are still sidelined, one of Fabinho or Xherdan Shaqiri are likely to keep their place in the midfield, but more likely than not either Adam Lallana, who had a decent cameo performance on Wednesday, or James Milner will find their way back on to the pitch. While it’s unlikely that the German manager will make any tweaks up top from the off, it’d be no surprise to see either Daniel Sturridge or even Divock Origi given a run out if the hosts are clearly in control.
Dealing with the Reds three-pronged attack is a nightmare for any back-line and Cardiff’s defensive duo of Sol Bamba and Sean Morrison just might miss some sleep on Friday night thinking about how they’ll keep them under wraps. Warnock will be without midfield duo Harry Arter and Josh Murphy, who put in a Man of the Match performance against the Cottagers, as both miss out to nurse their respective injuries. A point would be an excellent result for the Welsh side, but if the visitors they fall behind they’re going to have to open themselves to the Reds devastating counter-attack. Just getting a touch of the ball is going to be hard enough and boyhood Liverpool supporter Bobby Reid, who found the back of the net against Fulham last time out, is going to have to be patient and take his chances when they come.
While Cardiff will be praying to get absolutely anything out of this one, Klopp will be looking at claiming a top-flight club record of 10 consecutive home clean sheets — not something you would have expected from a side managed by the German. While that’d be a nice feather for his cap, there’s some things more important than football and the club will be throwing their support behind the Sean Cox appeal with representatives from the Spirit of Shankly collecting money at various locations around the stadium. Dig deep if you’re going to the match and if not you could always make a donation on the GoFundMe page — three-points and a win against the Blue Birds is important, but this means more.