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Liverpool vs Cardiff City FA Cup Fourth Round Match Preview

Liverpool welcome Cardiff City to Merseyside this Sunday for an FA Cup fourth-round clash. 

Championship Cardiff will make the journey from Wales looking to cause a major upset by knocking out Jurgen Klopp's men, whilst the Reds will be looking to advance to the fifth round of the cup in convincing fashion

Where: Anfield

When: Sunday, 12:00 Kick-off

What: FA Cup Fourth Round

League Form

Cardiff City, Championship

Cardiff celebrate with the travelling fans following victory over Barnsley 

Liverpool currently sit second in the Premier League, nine points behind leaders Manchester City, but have a game in hand to try and close the gap on the reigning Champions. 

Last time out in the league, Liverpool swept aside Crystal Palace in a real Jekyll and Hyde performance, with a dominant first half, with goals from Virgil Van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, being followed by a sloppy second half, where Odsonne Edouard pulled a goal back for the hosts before a last-minute Fabinho penalty to settle the game. 

As for Cardiff, Steve Morison's side are currently 20th in the Championship, sitting just one place, and seven points, above the relegation zone. 

In their last league game on Wednesday, Cardiff ran out 1-0 winners away at Barnsley, courtesy of on-loan forward Uche Ikpeazu, to aid their fight against relegation.

Team News

Liverpool will have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the fixture. 

The Reds will continue to be without Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane as both remain at the African Cup of Nations, with the two set to go head-to-head in Sunday's final between Salah's Egypt and Mane's Senegal. 

Thiago is expected to have returned to training on Friday ahead of the fixture, having missed the past six weeks due to a hip injury and then a chest infection. 

Liverpool's attacking options are set to be bolstered by the return of Harvey Elliott, who Jurgen Klopp has confirmed is set to feature for the first time since September, when he suffered a fractured ankle in a Premier League match versus Leeds. 

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New signing Luis Diaz arrived in Liverpool on Friday, meaning it will be touch-and-go as to whether the Colombian international will be with the squad for Sunday's fixture. 

Cardiff will have a reshuffled squad for the fixture. 

Firstly they are expected to be without captain Sean Morrison, who suffered an injury in the Bluebirds win against Barnsley, and has admitted that some of the younger players will be "scared and nervous" ahead of the fixture, with 50,000 fans expected to be in attendance. 

Cardiff will also be without Joe Ralls and Curtis Nelson who are doubts for the game, as well as Alfie Doughty, Uche Ikpeazu, Matt Watters and Cody Drameh, who are all cup-tied due to previous involvement in the cup with other clubs earlier this season.

What to Look Out For

Kaide Gordon, Liverpool, FA Cup

17-year old Kaide Gordon in action for LFC

Expect the average age of both squads to be quite low on Sunday

Jurgen Klopp often uses the early rounds of the domestic cups to rotate his squad and give younger players their chance in the first team. 

With this in mind, expect to see names such as Kaide Gordon (17) who scored in the third-round win over Shrewsbury Town, Caoimhin Kelleher (23), Tyler Morton (19) and Harvey Elliot (18) in the Liverpool starting XI, or amongst the bench. 

Furthermore, Cardiff boss Steve Morrison has promised that he will include several youngsters for the trip to Anfield, with Isaak Davies (20), Joel Bagan (20), Mark Harris (23) and Rubin Colwill (19) all set to feature. 

Prediction

Liverpool, Cardiff, FA Cup

Liverpool fans will be expecting nothing less than a victory on Sunday

Despite Jurgen Klopp being famed for not making domestic cups a priority, and instead using them to introduce younger players into the first team, Liverpool will, barring a huge shock, be in the draw for the fifth round of the cup. 

As you may expect, Liverpool will have too much quality for Cardiff even without some of their big names in the side and should run out comfortable winners on the day. 


Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff City


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