Liverpool vs. Cardiff City: FA Cup betting odds, preview, and pick
This weekend the FA Cup will go from 32 teams down to the last 16 as we move into the business end of the tournament.
The top Premier League teams all have favorable draws, with title-challenging Liverpool handed a home game against Cardiff City, who find themselves in a relegation battle in the Championship. It’s one of the highlights of the weekend as Jurgen Klopp’s men return from a two-week break, refreshed, rejuvenated and ready for FA Cup action.
Liverpool vs. Cardiff City betting odds
Klopp’s Cup curse?
There’s no doubting just how good Jurgen Klopp is in cup competitions. He won the German Cup with Borussia Dortmund early in his career, and since joining Liverpool he’s guided the Reds to two Champions League finals and the Europa League Final.
So, it’s interesting to see that in his six attempts with Liverpool, he’s only made it past the FA Cup Fourth Round once? And those defeats haven’t exactly come against red-hot opposition, as they’ve been knocked out by West Ham, Wolves (twice), West Brom, and last year by Manchester United, who three days later were beaten at home by Sheffield United.
But the gulf in class between Liverpool and Cardiff should be too much this weekend. There are 38 places between the two teams in England’s footballing pyramid, and Liverpool are unbeaten at Anfield all season as they try to close the gap on league-leaders Manchester City. Their home record in all competitions reads 11-0-5 and includes huge European wins over AC Milan and Atletico Madrid.
Mo Salah and Sadio Mane remain on international duty in the African Cup of Nations, meaning the Liverpool front line could be made up of Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, or new signing Luis Diaz. Since Mane and Salah left, Liverpool have won four and drawn one game, scoring 12 goals (2.4 a game), so going forward is not an issue for Klopp’s men.
A young, inexperienced Liverpool side were able to secure a 4-1 win over Shrewsbury in Round Three, and while Klopp may still rotate his side here, you’d expect a far stronger starting XI coming off the two-week winter break.
Cardiff’s defensive woes mean trouble
While Liverpool are competing for the Premier League title, Cardiff City find themselves flirting with relegation from the Championship. Steve Morison’s side have won one of their last eight games in all competitions and needed extra-time to see off Championship rivals Preston in Round Three.
Since making the final in a surprise run in 2007, Cardiff have only managed to get past the fourth round twice in 13 attempts. But a good cup run here could help distract the Bluebirds from a torrid league season which has seen them win just 26% of their games and keep just one clean sheet all year.
Goals are not hard to come by if you watch Cardiff this season – on the road their games have seen an average of 3.36 goals a game, the third-highest tally in the Championship – and 14 Cardiff players have all found the back of the net this year.
They can also take some positives from the fact that while their recent record against Liverpool reads 0-5-1, scoring on average 1.3 goals a game and conceding on average 3.2, their FA Cup record is a perfect 2-0.
Admittedly, those two victories came in 1928 and then 1930, but the fact remains Cardiff won 2-1 on both occasions. Could lightning strike again more than 90 years later?
Liverpool vs. Cardiff City Betting Trends
- 71% of Cardiff’s away games in the league this season have gone Over 2.5 goals
- Both teams have scored in six of Cardiff’s last eight league games
- There have been Over 2.5 goals in five of the last six meetings between Liverpool and Cardiff
- Liverpool have scored an average of 2.5 goals a game at home in the league this season
- Both teams have scored in 40% of Liverpool’s Premier League home games this season
- 59% of Liverpool’s league matches at Anfield have had Over 3.5 goals
The Reds are too strong for the Welsh side
Even if Klopp doesn’t play a full-strength side, it’s hard to see Cardiff putting up too much of a challenge at Anfield. Besides the obvious gulf in class between the teams, the Reds have had a two-week break to recover, while Cardiff had to travel on the road to Barnsley in mid-week and are amid a fight against relegation in the Championship. The goals should flow on Sunday if history between these sides is anything to go by. Given how leaky the Welsh team’s defense has been this season, it would be no surprise to see plenty of goal-mouth action for the Kop to cheer.
Score prediction: Liverpool 4-0 Cardiff (+750)