It is a time for potentially explosive south Wales derby between Cardiff and Swansea.
This is the first top-flight meeting between the sides. Interesting, there won’t be many Welsh players on the pitch. Ashley Williams and Craig Bellamy are likely to be two of only three Welsh players to start the match, alongside Cardiff defender Neil Taylor. Cardiff actual form could be described as poor. They have two defeats on the last three Premier League matches, with only one draw.
Swansea are in the middle of the table, with 11 points from 9 matches. They are playing in UEFA Europe League too and maybe that’s the main reason why the Swans don’t have even better results. Their actual form is mixed – two wins (against St Gallen and Sunderland), two draws (with Kuban Krasnodar and West Ham) and three defeats (from Birmingham, Arsenal and Southampton) in the last seven matches in all competitions. The manager Michael Laudrup has almost all players available for this match, with only Pablo Hernandez sidelined with a thigh injury. The midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is available recovered from a hamstring injury.
I will finish my preview with the referee Mike Dean. He has a history with the fixture. Dean suffered a cut to his forehead when hit by a coin thrown from a Cardiff section at the old Ninian Park on 05.04.2009. The match was continued and later Dean awarded the Bluebirds a debatable last-minute penalty that earned them a 2:2 draw. Dean was accused by Roberto Martinez (Swansea manager at that time) for making an “emotional decision”. Dean, one of the Premier League’s most experienced referees, has not officiated Cardiff in the Welsh capital since. Even Phil Sumbler, chair of Swansea Supporters’ Trust, said:
– Given Mike Dean’s association with this tie, particularly the last game at Ninian Park, I genuinely think this was something that should have been avoided. It has put more pressure on the game than was needed. There are 12 or 13 top level referees who are all good at what they do.
I expect a lot of nervous, both on the pitch and off the pitch. That is why I think this match will be a low scoring. Just to mention, the last two meetings in the season 2010/11 (in Championship), ended in 1:0 away victories, bet i expect to see both team to score at Cardiff City Stadium.