Saturday sees The Red Dragons welcome Steve Clarke’s stuttering West Brom side to The Cardiff City Stadium.
This game has all the makings of a relegation six-pointer and with both teams in dire runs of form then it shouldn’t be one for the purists. Cardiff go into the game without a win since November and have failed to score in 4 of the last 5 games. West Brom haven’t fared much better, with their last win coming back in November, also on the same weekend as Cardiff’s.
Cardiff City are the second lowest scorers in the Barclays Premier League with only 11 goals in 15 games.
Scoring goals is not a problem for The Albion, it’s keeping them out that’s the real concern. In the last five games they have conceded at least two goals a game.
The last league meeting between the two was in February 2010 at the Cardiff City Stadium and ended in a 1-1 draw.
Cardiff City have won this fixture 8 times out of the 23 meetings in Cardiff between the teams. West Bromwich Albion have left Cardiff with 7 wins, however, their last victory in South Wales was back in 1974. (www.westbromwichalbion-mad.co.uk)
Cardiff boss Malkay MacKay has injury concerns over left back Andrew Taylor and talisman Craig Bellamy (hamstring). However, former Baggies front man Peter Odemwingie is pushing to face his former team mates.
West Bromwich Albion hope to have on loan wide-man Scott Sinclair back after a 10 week absence due to a hamstring injury, however, they are still without long term injury victims Ben Foster and Nicolas Anelka.
Frazier Campbell: Cardiff City
With 3 league goals to his name, Campbell leads the Cardiff City goal scoring charts. Nevertheless, with no goals since the opener against Manchester United back on the 24th of November, Campbell will be feeling the pressure of having to score the goals to keep Cardiff up.
With Andreas Cornelius and Peter Odemwingie waiting in the wings for the chance to play as the team’s only striker then Campbell needs to find that goal scoring touch again.
A worrying statistic is that Campbell has missed 7 of his 9 clear cut chances so far this season. Cardiff need Campbell to be more ruthless in front of goal if they to start scoring once again.
Shane Long: West Bromwich Albion
Long is also his teams’ top Premier League marksman this season with all 3 of his goals coming in the Barclays Premier League.
After a great performance against Aston Villa in the Midlands Derby when the Irishman grabbed 2 goals in the opening 12 minutes, the goals have dried up for Long, with him drawing a blank in the teams last 3 outings.
Long is a an accurate striker with over half his shots hitting the target and he has managed to score with 1 of his 2 clear cut chances this season so far.
With both teams desperate for a win and equally as desperate not to lose I predict a tight affair. I feel that Cardiff will have the slight edge being the home team and they will put pressure on the West Brom back 4 and goalkeeper from set pieces. I am going for a Cardiff win, 2-0, with both goals coming from set pieces.
The pressure is about to increase on Steve Clarke