8/1 outsiders Cardiff have received some unlikely big-name backing on the brink of their first ever Carling Cup Final appearance by Jose Mourinho revealing his belief that British teams have the right mentality to cause huge upsets.
In the inaugural edition of The Sun on Sunday, the Real Madrid boss – who claimed the trophy at Liverpool’s expense for Chelsea in 2004-05 – has admitted that he wanted to attend the game with former Reds Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa.
And though his current side’s La Liga trip to Rayo Vallecano – where they are 4/11 to triumph – put paid to those plans, Mourinho has taped the match to watch when he returns home in anticipation of a fairly competitive contest.
He said: “I believe this can be a really great match because a final is a final, Wembley is Wembley and, of course, Liverpool and Cardiff have a great opportunity of making some history.
“In England, something I love and respect a lot is the fact that lower division clubs have the emotional qualities to play the big teams and beat them. So in that aspect I am supporting the Welsh team, Cardiff.
“Anyway, for sure, England enjoy this final… I think it can be very special.”
The Bluebirds are 8/1 to vindicate his theory that the gap in class won’t be too visible on the day by prevailing in 90 minutes, while odds of 9/2 are offered on them lifting the cup.
Liverpool however are the most successful side in Carling Cup history having gone all the way seven times before in the competition, and been victorious in three of the four Premier League-era finals that they have participated in.
Kenny Dalglish’s men are 9/20 to see off their Championship opponents, who are bidding to become the first non top flight winners since Sheffield Wednesday in 1991, in normal time.