Given the nonsense that has occurred in Cardiff over the past week, you wonder just how much time Mackay had to prepare his squad for a tough trip against Liverpool.
They would have needed his expertise to correct the following: in 5 home games, Suarez has scored 12 goals; in 8 games, Cardiff have scored only 4 goals and have conceded 12. As Suarez showed against Norwich, he needs very little help to score a goal.
However, aside from Suarez, Liverpool have other threats on the pitch. At home Liverpool have the 4th highest pass success rate and possession stats, they are also extremely potent at home when dribbling - their tally of 16 is by far the best.
Although Sterling is still extremely wasteful, he is a handful and the player most likely to face off against him: Andrew Taylor, is not the best equipped to deal with him. As screenshot two reveals, he has only made 9 tackles (0.7) in 13 games and although he does not let many past him, it is not hard to envisage Johnson, Suarez, Henderson and Sterling combining on the right like they did for the second goal against Tottenham and simply outnumbering Taylor.
Only once have Liverpool lost at home this season, and that was when Coutinho was injured, Suarez was banned and only Sturridge was available against Southampton.
However, if there is a way for Cardiff to get something, it comes from Liverpool's over-reliance on Suarez. In most goals Liverpool score, Suarez is somehow involved. Without Sturridge to assuage the burden on Suarez, Suarez will again be the main focus for Liverpool to score from.
In response, Cardiff will show Liverpool respect and keep it tight. Gary Medel will be important in this, he has high tackling and interception tallies, and when he wins back the ball he keeps it extraordinarily high.
Nonetheless, given the buoyant mood around Anfield these days, Suarez and company will be desperate to celebrate Suarez's pledge to Liverpool with a victory. Furthermore, without Gerrard, Liverpool keep the ball better and are more energetic in pressuring the opposition. Medel and others will not have enough of the ball to cause damage to Liverpool.
Liverpool 5-0 Cardiff City