Liverpool’s humiliation of Manchester United at Old Trafford last week proved that the Reds are genuine title contenders. Brendan Rodgers’ charges have been simply sensational this season and seem to be gathering momentum at just the right time for their title onslaught.
The Reds now travel to Wales to face Cardiff City on Saturday and given their fantastic run of form, anything less than a victory will surely be considered a disappointment. However, it will not be easy against a side fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table and Rodgers’ men will certainly have to be at their best to come away from the Cardiff City Stadium with all three points.
The probable Liverpool lineup against Cardiff City –
Simon Mignolet was virtually a bystander in the clash against United last week. However, the Belgian international can certainly expect to be called upon more often against a physical Cardiff City side and will have to do well in order to claim another clean sheet.
While Jose Enrique is still ruled out, Brendan Rodgers has been handed a huge boost with the timely return of Mamadou Sakho recently.
However, with the back four of Jon Flanagan, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson performing so well at the moment, Rodgers is unlikely to make any changes to his defensive line, despite the return of the French international to full fitness.
Sakho will most probably take his place on the bench alongside the likes of Aly Cissokho, Martin Kelly and Kolo Toure.
Rodgers can finally call upon his full strength midfield after the return of star Lucas to full fitness. With Liverpool midfield doing so well at the moment, the Brazilian looks unlikely to start against Cardiff though.
The Northern Irishman pulled off a tactical masterstroke by deploying Joe Allen instead of Philippe Coutinho against United and considering the effectiveness of the diminutive Welshman, he looks likely to continue in the starting lineup alongside the evergreen Steven Gerrard and the dynamic Jordan Henderson. Raheem Sterling was also impressive against United and will take his place on the wings.
Despite not enjoying their best game last week against Manchester United, the duo of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez still managed to get in on the act by combining to score the third goal and it emphasized the fact that the two are hard to keep quiet even when they are not performing to their optimal level.
The SAS partnership will surely start on Saturday and given Cardiff’s leaky defence this season, the duo will surely be rubbing their hands in anticipation ahead of the clash.
Mignolet; Flanagan, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson; Sturridge, Henderson, Gerrard, Allen, Sterling; Suarez