By Gary Fulcher, Daniel Rhodes and Mihail Vladimirov.
Liverpool enter the busy festive period in scintillating form having smashed 14 goals past Norwich (5-1), West Ham (4-0) and Spurs (5-0) in our last three matches. The Reds will be hoping to make it four league wins in a row for the first time since January/February 2011 when we host Cardiff City on Saturday lunchtime, 12.45pm kick off UK time.
At this stage last season we were sitting in 10th place with 22 points from 16 matches (17 points behind leaders Man Utd), with a goal difference of +2. Twelve months later we sit 2nd with 33 points after 16 games – two behind the leaders Arsenal – and have a goal difference of +21.
There have been just three seasons since 1992/93 where we’ve had 33pts or more after 16 games:
- 2001/02 – 33pts from 16 games, 25 goals scored, 15 conceded (finished 2nd with 80pts)
- 2005/06 – 34pts from 16 games, 22 goals scored, eight conceded (finished 3rd with 82 points)
- 2008/09 – 37pts after 16 games, 24 goals scored, nine conceded (finished 2nd with 86pts).
16 games don’t make a season and the above stats won’t guarantee we’ll end the season with 80pts or more but it’s undeniable that progress is being made, even if our performances and results haven’t been quite as consistent as we’d all like them to be.
Malky Makay’s Cardiff are currently in 15th place having picked up 17 points from 16 games, with six of those points picked up on their travels: a 1-1 draw at Hull, 2-1 win at Fulham, 0-0 draw with Norwich and a 0-0 draw with Stoke. The Bluebirds’ total of four goals scored away from home is the joint second lowest in the league and they’ve failed to score in five of their eight away games prior to this fixture.
We’ve won seven of our eight league games played at Anfield this season scoring 22 and conceding just five. Only Manchester City have won more (eight) and scored more (35) at home, while Hull City with three goals conceded are the only team to have conceded less on home soil in the league.
The last time the two sides met was in the 2012 League Cup final which we won 3-2 on penalties after the match had finished 2-2 at the end of extra-time. We haven’t faced Cardiff City in the league since the 1959/60 campaign and you have to go back to the 1957/58 season to find the last time we picked up all three points against the Bluebirds at Anfield. Surprisingly – to me at least – Cardiff have won more games at Anfield than we have (seven compared to our six), they’ve completed four league ‘doubles’ over us, and kept more cleans sheets at L4 (four compared to our three).
Our record victory in this fixture is 5-0 which came during the 1926/27 campaign, while Cardiff’s biggest victory is 4-0 from the 1959/60 season.
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