The first final of the footballing season is upon us and the first piece of silverware is available to win. The Carling Cup final isn't the biggest competition to win but for the two clubs in this year's final, winning the tournament would be great for different reasons. Premier League side Liverpool have not won any silverware since the FA Cup final of 2005/06 season where they beat West Ham on penalties. A win on Sunday would give the club a much needed boost and something to show for their excellent cup campaign this year. Championship side Cardiff City are battling for an automatic position for promotion to the Premier League and the Carling Cup final offers them a nice distraction from the promotion race. There are a few reasons why Sunday's final will be one to watch. Craig Bellamy will be playing against his boyhood team Cardiff for the first time in his career. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will be up against his cousin Anthony who plays in central defense for the Bluebirds. Finally Kenny Dalglish will be up agaisnt fellow Scot in the dugout meaning that Wales, England and Scotland will be represented at Wembley come four o'clock.
Malky Mackay's Cardiff City are once again battling for an automatic place in the Championship in their bid to reach the Premier League. After the success of fellow Welsh team Swansea City last year, the fans of the Bluebirds will want their team to achieve similar success. Cardiff's run in the cup this year has seen them overcome the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City and Huddersfield Town. The two legged semi-final against fellow Championship side Crystal Palace was welcomed by football fans as it guaranteed a Championship club into the final. Cardiff were the team that took the opportunity beating their opponents in a penalty shoot out which saw Palace miss three of their penalties. This will be the third time Cardiff will have played at the new Wembley with past occasions seeing them defeated in an FA Cup final and in the play off final of the Championship two years ago.
One to watch: Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
One to watch: Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City)
For both teams and sets of fans this is a massive game. The opportunity to win silverware will be boosts for both clubs. The winners also get entry into next years Europa League and if Liverpool miss out on a Champions League place this year then the opportunity to play in the Europa League will be welcomed. There will be significant battles on the pitch most notably the midfield battle. With Steven Gerrard and Charlie Adam most likely to start for Liverpool, Cardiff will have to keep the ball in the early stages of the game otherwise they will come out second best. Kenny Miller normally plays as a loan striker for Cardiff and will struggle without support against a Liverpool defence that has been one of the best in the Premier League this season. Cardiff will go into the game as underdogs and if Liverpool play the way we know they can then the Premier League side will come out winners. If Cardiff get under the skin of Liverpool and not allow any space then the Bluebirds have it in them to beat their opponents.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Cardiff City