Carling Cup Final 2012: Liverpool vs Cardiff preview


Finally, we are going to Wembley for the first time since it was rebuilt. And who else but King Kenny would take us there. It is so far shaping into a very exciting season for us, and after the Suarez saga it is now all about the football, and I’m sure me and all of the Liverpool fans out there are loving it. Kenny has also never won the league cup as a manager, the only one he hasn’t. Winning this would put him up there with Alex Ferguson And Jose Mourinho as the only managers to win everything in England.

I am supremely confident of a victory here, we are playing some brilliant football, we toppled Man City to get there and all the players know how much Liverpool belong at Wembley and I don’t think they will let us down, it has been too long since we were there and Kenny knows how much a trophy means to Liverpool, and how much he enjoys being at ‘Anfield South’.

Taking nothing away from Cardiff, they are a great side and have done well to get to the final, something they are doing quite well in recent years, unfortunately for them coming home empty handed however. I am welsh and I would wish them victory against any team, just not Liverpool, although losing to them would soften the blow a little.

I cannot wait for this game, probably the most exciting one all season for me, even more than watching Suarez return against spurs, or the 5-1 and 6-1 FA Cup thrashings we handed out to Oldham and Brighton.

Kenny will undoubtedly play the strongest side possible at his disposal, and so would Cardiff, so this should be a cracker. I can see both teams going for it right from the whistle, if they aren’t going to do it at a cup final when would they do it? This would be my first XI:

1. Reina
2. Enrique
3. Skrtel
4. Agger
5. Johnson

This is probably the most regular defence we have, both appearance and performance wise. Skrtel and Aggers understanding has obviously grown amazingly this season and it’s the best I’ve ever seen them as individuals and as a partnership. Johnson had been playing well, and gone on the scoresheet as well. Enrique is one of my favourite players, he is quick, intelligent, isn’t afraid of tackling and tracks back, so in my opinion this is the strongest defence. Kelly and Carragher as subs.

6. Downing
7. Gerrard
8. Henderson
9. Bellamy

Downing was great against Brighton and showed why we got him and what he can do with his corners, Gerrard is the talisman and a no brainier, Henderson has been consistent this season, never played outstanding but never really had a shocker either, I like him I must admit, bags of potential, and on the wing opposite downing. Bellamy deserves this, he’s been putting in stunning shifts all season, scoring, creating, everything you want him to do, and against his old club playing for his first English trophy as well, and at 32 you wouldn’t blame him to think this might be his last chance, so he will be well up for this.

10. Carroll
11. Suarez

If you’ve read my other posts you’ll know how much I love this partnership, and it was there for all to see against Brighton, both scoring and Carroll an assist, that game was the reason Kenny got them both, to compliment each others strengths and cover the weaknesses. I’m expecting a big performance and goals from one or both of these today!

As long as every player gives 110% we should be lifting the cup in 90 minutes, and we will have a major trophy this season, and possibly the first of two this season which would be absolutely fantastic. I feel Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish really deserve a trophy this season, and I don’t think we will throw it away.

Cardiff have nothing to lose today and they will enjoy the experience at Wembley, they are a good side and more than capable of giving us a game if they keep organised and tactical. But we have the quality to beat them if we maintain complacency.



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