Liverpool v Cardiff: FA Cup fourth round preview
 Kaide Gordon celebrates after scoring the equalising goal during the English FA Cup third round football match between Liverpool and Shrewsbury Town at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on January 9, 2022 (PHOTO: GETTY Images/ Paul Ellis)

Liverpool are hoping to progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup with victory over Championship strugglers Cardiff

The Reds have only reached that stage of the tournament once in Jurgen Klopp's reign, resulting in a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea.

He will be confident that his side can advance, they hold a perfect record against the Bluebirds in the last six meetings. 

They are also unbeaten in their last six, winning their last three against Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Brentford. Draws away to Chelsea and Arsenal either side of a victory in the third round of the FA Cup against Shrewsbury resulted in a decent January. 

20th in the Championship, Cardiff have won their last two games but lost the two previous. They did knock Preston out in the last round of the competition and secured an impressive draw away at West Brom at the start of January.

  • Story of the game

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The last time the sides met in a cup competition was the 2012 Carling Cup final when the Reds scraped a penalty shoot-out win. 

The two then met four times in the Premier League, both seasons Liverpool were in title contention. 

First, in 2013/14, speculation about Malky Mackay's future as Cardiff manager was increased when a Luis Suarez double and assist for Raheem Sterling condemned his side to a 3-1 defeat. 

By the time the return fixture came around, in March 2014, Olé Gunnar Solksjaer had replaced Mackay in the dugout, but a managerial change could not stop Suarez, who scored a hat-trick in a 6-3 win for Brendan Rodgers' team. 

Ultimately, the Reds were beaten to the title by Manchester City, and that would be the case again in the 2018/19 season. 

Cardiff were back in the top-flight but they could not stop Liverpool as they chased down City, a 4-1 away defeat in October was followed by a 2-0 defeat at the Cardiff City stadium. 

14 of the 18 players in the Liverpool squad that day remain at Anfield. Only Gini Wijnaldum, Xherdan Shaqiri, Simon Mignolet and Daniel Sturridge have departed. 

  • Team News

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Liverpool are without Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah as they contest the AFCON final on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Harvey Elliott will be in the squad however Thiago Alcantara will be assessed ahead of the game. 

Divock Origi is back training, but Klopp was coy on whether the Belgian will feature in the squad. 

New signing Luis Diaz could make his debut. With his first training session coming yesterday, Klopp is unsure whether he will make it. 

Klopp is expected to rotate, with seven games in 22 days, so the likes of Kaide Gordon, Conor Bradley and Caoimhin Kelleher could feature

For the visitors, captain Sean Morrison picked up an injury midweek and manager Steve Morison is also unsure about the availability of Joe Ralls and Curtis Nelson.

Meanwhile, Alfie Doughty, Uche Ikpeazu and Cody Drameh are cup-tied. 

  • Predicted line-up

Liverpool: Kelleher, Bradley, Gomez, Konate, Tsmikas, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Elliott, Gordon, Jota, Minamino 

Cardiff: Phillips, Flint, Vaulks, McGuinness, Ng, Pack, Wintle, Bagan, Colwill, Doyle, Hugill

  • What have the managers said?

Jurgen Klopp said that new signing Diaz needs time to adapt but that he could feature: 

“If he would have been here yesterday [Thursday] and could have trained a little bit, I would have considered it definitely. Now, I don’t know,”

He also admitted that Elliott could start:

“He is in a good place and is in full team training now, but we have to see what is right for him – is it right to start [or] is it right to come on?”

On Liverpool's FA Cup ambitions: 

"Massive. I cannot say more. We are not the most successful FA Cup team at least as long as I’m here. Yeah, we are quite ambitious."

Cardiff manager Steve Morison is willing to use the occasion to reward his young players who have stepped up recently. 

"It’s a good opportunity to bring some players in. But it’s getting that balance right and keeping it competitive."

"They know what’s coming. You need to enjoy it. You can’t leave with regrets. We’ll see what happens, but we’ve got some really, really talented players.", he added. 

 

 

 

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