Cardiff City and Liverpool go head to head in the Carling Cup final at Wembley on Sunday afternoon as they battle it out for the first piece of major silverware of the season as Craig Bellamy is sure to attract plenty of interest to score first at 6/1.
Liverpool are of course expected to secure their first trophy since 2006, but Championship promotion hopefuls Cardiff City are a more than capable side and will be confident of challenging Kenny Dalglish’s men.
If the Welsh outfit need any inspiration, they only have to look to last year’s Carling Cup final when Birmingham City defeated Arsenal against all the odds to secure some valuable silverware.
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Cardiff have the experience of playing in a major final quite recently too. They made it to the FA Cup final in 2008 and even though they lost to Portsmouth, the experience will stand them in good stead ahead of Sunday afternoon.
They must be prepared to put their promotion bid on hold too. They are currently 5th in the Championship, with a place in the top two still a realistic ambition for Malky Mackay’s men. This weekend though, it is all about facing Liverpool in a major final and they will be relishing the occasion.
As for Dalglish’s men, well they have all the pressure on their shoulders. They are expected to win and win well and they must live up to these expectations.
Victory would be a big deal for them too. It is their first appearance at Wembley since 1996, while it would also be the first trophy for six years and one that could act as a platform for more success under Dalglish.
Looking at the team news for this one, Cardiff are sweating on the fitness of captain Mark Hudson and midfielder Stephen McPhail. Tom Heaton is fit though and he is set to start in goal ahead of David Marshall.
For Liverpool, Daniel Agger and Craig Bellamy – who was on-loan at Cardiff last season – are both fit to play as the Reds look set to field an extremely strong side.
Overall, Liverpool are no doubt the favourites, but Cardiff will give this a really good and look to compete with their Premier League opponents. It should be a cracking contest and it gets underway from 4pm on Sunday.