Bovada has Liverpool as a -300 favorite, while Cardiff City is a +900 underdog. Those odds are nothing short of insane. If you have earned your way to the final of such a prestigious event, you have done enough to get more respect than that.
But this goes a little deeper. Looking at the two clubs, Cardiff City is the one with the more dangerous offensive punch. In the English League Championship, they have shown a diverse offense, as Kenny Miller and Peter Whittingham each have nine goals, while Aron Gunnarson and Joe Mason have five.
The Bluebirds have the depth in scoring to put constant offensive pressure on the Reds, who have shown too much dependency on Craig Bellamy and Luis Suarez.
Andi Thomas of ESPN described Cardiff City perfectly. In doing so, he explained why an upset is so likely:
(Manager Malky) Mackay has been entrusted with reshaping the club -- another Project; they're everywhere these days -- and on the pitch this has meant tactically flexible, hard-pressing football.
They are going to force the issue on their opponent, any opponent. This won't be a club lying back, playing in the middle of the field. No, the Bluebirds will attack the Reds. Pick any sport you want—that is how you win, especially as an underdog.
It isn't that Cardiff City is perfect. It can allow goals as well, but it will score, and score a lot. That means that the Carling Cup final is going to be a high-scoring clash, which works in the Bluebirds' favor. Ultimately, there is just too much depth on one side of the field.
The Reds' drought in the Carling Cup will extend for at least another year. When Cardiff City presses the issue and attacks, they are going to be too tough of a matchup for Liverpool.
Prediction: Cardiff City 3, Liverpool 2