Cardiff manager Neil Warnock acknowledges his side could get a “battering” at home to title-chasing Liverpool.
The Reds have won their last eight games in all competitions and relegation-threatened Cardiff have yet to pick up a point against top-six opposition in the Premier League this season.
Warnock has been frustrated by heavy home defeats to Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham and fears a similar outcome on Sunday with Liverpool in prime form and chasing a first domestic title since 1990.
Cardiff have also not beaten the Reds for nearly 60 years, a 4-0 win at Anfield in December 1959 which was Bill Shankly’s first game as Liverpool manager.
“We realise the challenge, they’ve shown this season that they can beat anyone on a good day,” Warnock said at his pre-match press conference.
“We just want to give a good performance and not get a battering really.
“We can work all week, but if we freeze and make a mistake early on we may as well go home.
“They will just pick you off. That’s what you get with quality players.
“When you realise our wage bill is £11million less than what they spent on agents’ fees, I think it puts it in perspective what we’re up against.”
Cardiff head into the weekend filling the final relegation spot and two points from safety.
But Tuesday’s 2-0 win at Brighton – the team directly above them – has given Cardiff hope that they can avoid the drop with four games left to play.
Brighton, who have a game in hand, are away to Wolves on Saturday and face Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham during a tricky run-in.
“The dressing room was elated,” Warnock said of the Brighton victory. “Not just at winning, but the way we won.
“We were always aware that if we lost the game that would be it.
“We’ve still got a massive job to do and you’d still want to be in Brighton’s shoes.
“You’ve just got to hope that (Wolves manager) Nuno (Espirito Santo) and his players aren’t on the beach.
“There are a lot of factors that come into it and we’re just glad that with four games to go we’re still surprising people. I like it when we surprise people.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, has insisted his players will treat Cardiff and Huddersfield with exactly the same importance as they do Barcelona as they reach crunch time in their pursuit of silverware.
The Reds are through to a glamorous Champions League semi-final against Barca but, though the two Premier League games that come before it do not stir the imagination in quite the same way, every point is vital to Liverpool in the title race with Manchester City.
“These are all massive games,” Klopp said. “None of them are won before we start. Everybody thinks a lot about Barcelona but before Barcelona it’s Cardiff and Huddersfield and it’s exactly the same importance to us as the other games.”
Few expect anything other than a Liverpool win at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday, but Klopp recognises the challenge of facing Neil Warnock’s side has changed in the last week.
“Neil (Warnock) and Cardiff have gained a lot of confidence in the last game and rightly so,” Klopp said. “It was a massive game against Brighton, if Cardiff had lost that game then the fight for the league would be finished but now it starts again for all the teams.
“Everything came together and that’s what makes football so exciting. They believe in their chances and I would do the same so we have to show we are ready for this battle.”