By Gary Fulcher, Daniel Rhodes and Mihail Vladimirov.
With 1st placed Chelsea hosting 3rd placed Arsenal in the lunch-time kick-off on Saturday, Liverpool will be hoping to take full advantage of whichever team drops points (hopefully both!) by defeating Cardiff City at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday afternoon; 3pm kick off UK time. The 3-0 victory over Manchester Utd at Old Trafford on Sunday was our fifth consecutive victory in the Premier League, something we haven’t done in the same season since we last challenged for the title in 2008/09. We have won five consecutive league games under Brendan Rodgers before – winning the final two games of last season and the first three of this season – but if we do pick up maximum points against Cardiff, it would be the first time we’ve recorded six consecutive league victories since the 2005/06 season when we ended that season with nine consecutive wins.
Cardiff occupy 19th place and have won just six of their 30 league games played prior to this match, with five of those victories coming on home soil including a shock 3-2 victory over Manchester City way back in August. Since Ole Gunnar Solskjær replaced Malky Mackay on January 2nd, the Bluebirds Premier League records reads: two wins (2-1 against Norwich City and 3-1 against Fulham both at home), one draw (0-0 with Aston Villa at home) and seven defeats (0-2 to West Ham (H), 2-4 to Man City (A), 0-2 to Man Utd (A), 0-3 to Swansea (A), 0-4 to Hull (H), 0-1 to Spurs (A) and 1-2 to Everton (A).
Hardly the improvement controversial owner Vincent Tan was surely hoping for when he sacked the popular Mackay in late December, but Tan and Solskjær may find some crumb of comfort in the fact that we have a far from stellar record against Cardiff, particularly in Cardiff. We’ve won just twice from 13 visits to their place in the league with our first victory (3-1) coming during the 1924/25 and our last coming in in April 1929 when we won 2-1.
The reverse fixture at Anfield earlier in the season ended with a 3-1 victory for the Reds with all three of our goals scored in the first half. Luis Suarez struck a brace (on 25 and 45 minutes) and set up Raheem Sterling for a tap in on 42 minutes, with Jordan Mutch pulling back a consolation for Cardiff just before the hour mark. That win saw Liverpool move to the top of the table and if results go our way on Saturday, we could move to within one point of the current leaders with a game in hand.
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