Cardiff City will hope to hit back after their disappointing 2-0 defeat to West Ham United on the opening day of the season last week, but their task will be made all the more difficult by the visiting Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.
This will only be Cardiff’s second game in the top tier of English football for 51 years and while they failed to really get going in East London last week, the fact that this is their opening home game should ensure a better performance this time round. The last time the two clubs met was in 1994 in the FA Cup and it ended in a 1-0 win for the Bluebirds, so they will be hoping to repeat that result this weekend.
Manchester City come into this game on the back of an emphatic 4-0 win over Newcastle United on Monday night and could well have a similar result against the newly promoted side if they play the same level of football they managed against Alan Pardew’s team.
The former Premier League champions will undoubtedly be the favourites to win this game and it is therefore no surprise that Pinnacle Sports have them as favourites at odds of 1.455. Unfortunately for Cardiff, they have less than favourable odds of 8.400.
Cardiff should have a fully available squad to choose from. Andrew Taylor has completed his ban and Andreas Cornelius has also returned from the ankle injury that kept him sidelined.
Things aren’t so good for Manuel Pellegrini and City however. Vincent Kompany could be out for as much as four weeks with a groin injury sustained against Newcastle, with Matija Nastasic and Micah Richards suffering knocks. This could allow Javi Garcia to partner Joleon Lescott in defence (premierleague.com).
The Cardiff City website has some stats on this fixture:
This will be the 48th time the two sides have met. Cardiff have won 8 times while City have won 19 times. They have drawn on 20 occasions.
Craig Bellamy will appear against his former club where he scored 15 goals in 51 appearances.
Cardiff and City last met in the FA Cup 4th Round in 1994, when Cardiff won 1-0.
Cardiff – Craig Bellamy
Bellamy has plenty of Premier League experience which could prove invaluable to Cardiff this year. Added to this, it’s fair to say that Bellamy wasn’t looked upon very kindly by the club during his time at City and therefore could have a point to prove against City. The striker didn’t have the best of times against West Ham last week, but his ability to create chances cannot be underestimated. While in the Premier League at Liverpool two seasons ago, Bellamy created 35 chances with 20 of those coming from open play, including three assists. This gave him an average of a chance every 35 minutes. He attempted 254 passes in the final third of the pitch and achieved a completion rate of 82%. While Bellamy may not be scoring as many goals anymore, he could still make a major impact for Cardiff against City.
Manchester City – Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure is undoubtedly one of City’s main men and it’s easy to imagine that they would be in some trouble if they did not have him in the midfield. Toure had a good performance in Monday’s game against Newcastle, which he topped off with a great goal from a free kick. His influence was clear last season as well, not only in attack but also in defence. He created 38 chances from open play for his team mates as well as a further nine clear cut chances, and this didn’t include the five assists he achieved. In defence, he made 29 interceptions over the course of the season and made 37 tackles with a success rate of 75.68%. If Cardiff are to stop City on Sunday then they will have to prevent Toure from influencing the game in the way he potentially can.
It has been a long time since these two clubs played each other and have never done so in the Premier League. Manchester City finished second in the league last year and come into this campaign with a squad that could win it. Cardiff on the other hand will be looking just to surive this season and games against teams such as City could be too much for them. I think with the home fans on their side, Cardiff will score against City but will ultimately lose 3-1.
As stated before, Pinnacle Sports have Man City as favourites to win at odds of 1.465 on a 1×2 bet. Cardiff have significantly higher odds at 8.25. If you think a draw is a more likely result, then you can put money on that 4.630.