After conquering Crystal Palace in the last four, the Welsh side faces a tall order beating the Reds, who knocked out Manchester City in the semis to become strong favorites
McNaughton, Hudson, A Gerrard, Taylor
Cowie, Gunnarsson, Whittingham, McPhail, Conway
Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique
Adam, S Gerrard
Bellamy, Suarez, Kuyt
Cardiff goalkeeper Tom Heaton has recovered from an ankle injury and will start ahead of regular Championship starter David Marshall. Stephen McPhail is a doubt with an immune system disorder while club captain Mark Hudson will face a late fitness test to see if he can overcome a calf problem.
Daniel Agger is set to return to the heart of Liverpool’s defense after Kenny Dalglish opted to rest him in the side’s 6-1 thrashing of Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend in the fifth-round of the FA Cup. Craig Bellamy is available to face the club he played for on loan last season, after being given an injection to soothe a back problem.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- The last trophy Liverpool won – six years ago – was won in Cardiff, at the Millennium Stadium. Pepe Reina, Agger and Jamie Carragher were the only men to start in that FA Community Shield victory over Chelsea who might feature on Sunday. Steven Gerrard came off the bench in the 2-1 win, as did Bellamy in his previous spell at Anfield.
- Cardiff has not won in six matches outside of Wales in 2012. Malky Mackay’s men have won every single home game, however.
- Both clubs have top goalscorers on 10 for the season – Luis Suarez for the Reds and Kenny Miller (pictured right) for the Bluebirds.
- The Merseyside club beat Manchester City over two legs to qualify for this Wembley showdown, its first appearance at the stadium since the 1996 FA Cup final. Cardiff beat Crystal Palace in a penalty shoot-out to become the first Championship side since Birmingham City in 2001 to reach the League Cup final. Coincidentally, the team who defeated the lower league club on that occasion was Liverpool.
- The Bluebirds have a remarkable record against the Reds, having won double the amount of games (18) than Liverpool have (nine), with two drawn matches.
- Last year Birmingham City won the League Cup – three months later it was relegated from the Premier League. Arsenal was seriously in the running for four separate trophies before its late loss against the Midlands club. Could this final be a poisoned chalice perhaps?
- The Welsh club has never appeared in a League Cup final before. Liverpool, on the other hand, is the most successful club in the cup’s history, winning on seven occasions (most recently in 2003) and finishing as runner-up three times.
- The only time the two teams have faced off in the League Cup was in 2007: Liverpool beat Cardiff 2-1 in a fourth-round clash at Anfield. However, in the previous five games between these two sides Cardiff finished as winners.
- Only once in the last seven instances has a side from outside the top flight won the League Cup, when Sheffield Wednesday triumphed over Manchester United in the 1990-91 season.