Sat 21 Dec 2013 12:45 – Liverpool v Cardiff (Anfield)
Referee: Lee Probert
Liverpool and Cardiff will get the Premier League proceedings under way this weekend with an early kick-off at Anfield. Liverpool’s home form has been devastating and will make painful reading for Cardiff fans; they have won eight out of nine at home and have scored three or more goals in the last five games. Factor in last weekend’s scintillating away performance at Spurs and things do not look promising for the Welsh team. What’s more, Luis Saurez has scored more goals than the whole Cardiff team this season! This makes Saurez a strong contender for Premiership top goal scorer.
A home win is the obvious match betting choice but this will offer little value, so it may be worth looking elsewhere for more attractive options. For goal betting, over 2.5 goals is a sensible choice and Liverpool should achieve this without any help from the visitors. Liverpool also have an average winning goal margin of +2.1 and this could also provide another goal betting option. The corner betting stats also suggest that there is a fairly good chance of over 10.5 corners in this game with 75% of Liverpool’s home games producing this result and 50% of Cardiff’s away games also matching this statistic. Both teams average more than 11 corners in their respective home and away games. Liverpool can also be expected to win the most corners by a margin of +2.
The other area worth exploring is the bookings statistics. Liverpool are very disciplined under Brendan Rodgers and have only received 8 yellow cards at home all season. Cardiff appear to be similarly well-behaved and have only received 10 cards away from home this term. There is a very high probability of under 35.5 booking points in this game and Liverpool have never been booked first this season.
The Reds have proved that they can cope without the injured Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge, and Cardiff only have one injury doubt; and that is former Liverpool favourite Craig Bellamy who faces a race against fitness to face his old club.
Cardiff have won just one away game all season – against Fulham back in September – and while anything can happen in football, it is hard to see anything other than a convincing home win for the Merseyside team. Liverpool should win by a margin of at least +2 in a game with over 2.5 goals scored. There is a good chance of over 10.5 corners and Liverpool should also have a corner margin of +2. There is likely to be under 35.5 booking points and Cardiff can be expected to receive the first yellow card. Luis Suarez is also a good bet for a wincast and could also grab yet another man of the match award.
Match prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff