LIVERPOOL VS CARDIFF CITY
| Saturday, October 27th |
Premier League | Anfield
2:00 PM GMT / 3:00 PM BST / 10:00 AM EST
Another tricky matchup awaits Liverpool on Saturday. Cardiff City visit Anfield and the struggling side will likely set up to frustrate Jürgen Klopp’s attacking plan. The Bluebirds are just one position above the relegation zone, edging out Fulham on goal differential, with only five points from the opening nine fixtures. Neil Warnock knows his side will have a tough time against the Reds and his game plan is expected to look something like a large, unmoving, transportation vehicle that’s been deposited in front of Cardiff’s goal.
Cardiff supporters will have to remember a long way back to find a victory over Liverpool. It was 1959 when the Welsh club last bested Merseyside’s finest. But the modern game gets more and more difficult to predict. The Premier League is full of surprising players and there’s not one team that can go into a match expecting to take all three points.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Moreno; Shaqiri, Wijnaldum, Fabinho; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Liverpool will go into the game high on confidence after defeating Red Star Belgrade 4-0 at Anfield on Tuesday. Mohamed Salah got back into the scoring groove, bagging two goals against the Serbian champions. Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané were also on the scoresheet. Unfortunately for Cardiff City, Klopp’s preferred front three may be rounding into form all at the same time.
There are no new injuries in Liverpool’s squad ahead of the weekend. Jordan Henderson remains out, as does Naby Keita. But James Miler should be available and could possibly make the starting midfield ahead of either Xherdan Shaqiri or Fabinho, both of whom performed very well against Red Star Belgrade.
Gini Wijnaldum should be a lock in the middle of the park right now. The Dutchman has been a force in the midfield for Liverpool. He doesn’t score you goals but Wijnaldum is rarely out of form and is a determined presser and ball-winner.
During Klopp’s pre-Cardiff press conference, the manager seemed to suggest that some of his lesser-seen players could get an opportunity on Saturday. Divock Origi was singled out as “doing outstanding.” Joël Matip was mentioned as a strong player who should be playing if it weren’t for the strong displays from Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk. Alberto Moreno and Dom Solanke were commended, as well.
Cardiff City shouldn’t be underestimated but Liverpool’s bench is as strong as it’s ever been and a home match against a struggling side sounds like a good chance to throw on some fresh faces.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jürgen Klopp: “This game is a challenge. Football is football, and it means there are a lot of moments where they can make the difference - did we really score more goals than Cardiff in set pieces?!”
Neil Warnock: “We’ve all got to play at the top of our potential to give them a good game and hope they have an off day.”
Referee: Stuart Attwell Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Adrian Holmes Fourth official: Craig Pawson
Kickoff is set for 2:00 PM GMT/10:00 AM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.