The Liverpool Echo report that Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock has threatened to field a weakened team when his side face Manchester City on Wednesday 3 April.
Warnock was left infuriated with the match officials after Chelsea scored a fortunate late winner against the Bluebirds this weekend in their 1-2 defeat.
He has since threatened to play his reserves when Cardiff travel to the Etihad, potentially handing Pep Guardiola’s City side a big advantage.
Warnock said: “I think we can keep the score down at Man City, I think we can keep it to single figures.
“But I might play the reserves down there, it’ll be interesting to see what the journalists think of that.
“We keep getting knock-backs, I will probably play the U23s on Wednesday against Manchester City and try to keep it down to 10 or 11. It doesn’t matter who you play at the minute, it is who has a flag in his hand and who has a whistle.”
The news will come as a blow to Liverpool fans should Cardiff put out a weakened side against their title rivals.
The fixture is Manchester City’s game-in-hand over Liverpool, and victory will see them go two points clear with just six games to go.
Liverpool are fighting hard and will push City all the way for the league title, and could do without teams giving their rivals an easy ride.
Cardiff are currently fighting for survival in the Premier League, so Liverpool fans may have been hoping for the Bluebirds to give City a tough test with their survival on the line.
But should Warnock choose to play a weakened side, including some U23 players, it seems almost certain that City will regain top spot.
It will further anger Liverpool fans as no side has indicated that they will deliberately field a weakened side when they face the Reds, with most of them likely to try to claim a scalp of a result against Klopp’s title chasers.