Former Liverpool striker Ian Rush believes the pressure of being favourites could undermine his old side’s efforts of beating Cardiff in the Carling Cup final.
The Reds make their first trip to Wembley since 1996 on Sunday bidding to win their first major trophy since the FA Cup in 2005.
Boss Kenny Dalglish is desperate to win a first trophy since returning to the club last January and openly admits he had targeted the league cup at the start of the season.
With no European campaign to worry about Dalglish has played his strongest team where possible, while three of their opponents on the road to Wembley – Stoke, Chelsea and Manchester City – rested players due to bigger European games elsewhere.
Cardiff meanwhile have been regular visitors to the famous stadium, with this being their fourth visit since 2008.
However, they have never won the league cup and the status as a Championship side means they are rank outsiders in the football betting to overcome their more illustrious opponents.
Their priority is promotion this season, but manager Malky Mackay – who signed a new contract this week – knows that opportunities to win major trophies do not come around too often and is determined to make the most of it.
Punters who want to bet on the Championship side will be encouraged by Mackay’s approach.
Former Wales international Rush, who won the League Cup five times as a player for Liverpool, feels that although his old team are clearly good enough to lift the trophy, the pressure of expectation may given the Bluebirds a chance.
"If you get to any final there is no easy ride. It's what you make of it.
"Yes, Liverpool are favourites to win but if they go about it with the wrong preparation they are in for a big shock. Cardiff are capable of beating any side on the day.
"This is why cup finals are so special because on the day anyone can beat anyone.”
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