Klopp expecting stern Bluebirds test

The FA Cup fourth-round action continues on Sunday with Cardiff City, Nottingham Forest and Boreham Wood all hoping to enjoy giant-killing success.

Saturday promised so much in terms of FA Cup shocks, but after Kidderminster Harriers and Plymouth Argyle were both heartbreakingly denied in extra-time by West Ham and Chelsea respectively, it was by and large a day of the expected.

Three more fourth-round ties take place on Sunday and there is scope for giant killing in all of them.

The 12:00 kick-off sees Championship strugglers Cardiff face the ominous task of taking on an in-form Liverpool at Anfield, with the Reds having lost just one of their last 17 matches across all competitions (Liverpool 1/7, Draw 15/2, Cardiff 20/1 – Match Result).

Boss Jurgen Klopp will have to once again make do without star duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who are set to face off against each other in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations final, while the German is certainly not underestimating a City side who have improved considerably following Steve Morison’s appointment as manager in October.

“Today will be really tough for us,” Klopp told reporters. “We know Cardiff will see this as a massive opportunity for themselves.

“We know they will come with an expectation of winning. We know they will be on the front foot. So we have to be ready. It really is that simple.”

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Another Premier League outfit looking to avoid suffering a cup upset at the hands of Championship opposition are Leicester City, who take on Nottingham Forest at the City Ground in an East Midlands derby (Forest 11/4, Draw 11/4, Leicester 19/20 – Match Result).

The Foxes have had more than their fair share of injury problems this season and they remain without key figures such as Jamie Vardy and Jonny Evans, while they will be facing a Forest side who have won four of their last five, including getting the better of Arsenal in round three.

Following Kidderminster’s exit on Saturday, National League high-flyers Boreham Wood are the last non-league team standing in this season’s FA Cup, and they may fancy their chances of getting the better of Championship promotion hopefuls Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium (Bournemouth 1/4, Draw 5/1, Boreham Wood 12/1 – Match Result).

The Wood are unbeaten in 16 matches across all competitions, including seeing off League One AFC Wimbledon in round three, while Bournemouth’s form has dipped considerably since their long unbeaten start to the season was ended by Preston North End in November.

However, the Cherries will be boosted by the wealth of new signings they brought in on transfer deadline day, with Nat Phillips, Freddie Woodman, Todd Cantwell and Kieffer Moore all in line to make their debuts.

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Author: Micheal Ramirez