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Liverpool vs Cardiff preview | Team news | Expected line-ups | Prediction

Liverpool return from the mid-season break when they welcome Cardiff City to Anfield in the 4th round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.

Ibrahima-Konate-Liverpool

Liverpool return from the mid-season break when they welcome Cardiff City to Anfield in the 4th round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.

The Reds enjoyed a strong January as they closed the gap on Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table to nine points with a game in hand following their 3-1 win at Crystal Palace.

Jurgen Klopp’s men also have another final to look forward to after booking their place at Wembley in the Carabao Cup. The Merseysiders saw off Arsenal over two-legs after winning 2-0 on aggregate thanks to an impressive second leg victory at the Emirates Stadium.

Liverpool will now be focussed on their FA Cup clash with Cardiff after easing into the 4th round with a comfortable 4-1 win over Shrewsbury Town in the previous stage of the competition.

Team news

Liverpool should welcome several players back after the break with Thiago Alcantara set to return from a groin injury that’s hampered him recently. The Spaniard has also been struggling with a chest infection last week but was able to train on Friday and should be in the squad tomorrow.

Harvey Elliott is also set to make his comeback after recovering from a fractured ankle that’s kept him out for several months. Naby Keita is back in contention after returning from the African Cup of Nations but he may have to settle for a place on the bench.

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Divock Origi will be assessed ahead of the game as he looks to return from a knee problem but Liverpool will still be without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane after they both booked their place in the AFCON final.

Klopp is likely to rest some of his key men with the likes of Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Vigil van Dijk, Fabinho and Diogo Jota given a breather.

As for Cardiff, they’ll be without Sean Morrison due to a knee injury while Curtis Nelson and Joe Ralls are also set to miss out. Max Watters, Cody Drameh, Alfie Doughty and Ikpeazu are all cup tied.

Expected line-ups

Liverpool:  Kelleher; Bradley, Konate, Gomez, Tsimikas; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Jones; Gordon, Firmino, Minamino

Cardiff: Phillips; Flint, Vaulks, McGuinness; Ng, Pack, Wintle, Bagan; Colwill, Doyle; Hugill

Prediction

It’s difficult to see Cardiff having any joy at Anfield as even if Klopp plays a second string eleven, they should still be too strong for the visitors.

The FA Cup can throw up some shock results but we don’t see that happening at Anfield. Liverpool 2-0 Cardiff.

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