Saturday tea time see’s the 107th Welsh Derby taking place between Swansea City and Cardiff City.
This game could arguably be the most important between the teams as they both battle for their Premier League lives. Cardiff City currently sit in 19th position in the Barclays Premier League, 7 places but only 3 points behind their Welsh rivals.
Swansea City come into the game having just sacked manager Michael Laudrup and his staff. New manager Garry Monk will hope to get an immediate reaction from the players as they attempt to get revenge for their 1-0 defeat at The Cardiff City Stadium earlier in the season.
Swansea go into the game on the back of a 2-0 victory over Fulham in their last home game, that vicroty was their first in their last 6 Premier League matches. If Swansea are to arrest their slide down the table then they will have to turn around their home form, up to now they have only won 3 home league games so far this season.
Cardiff City also come into the game on the back of a victory. It was a rather fortuitous 2-1 victory at home to fellow strugglers Norwich City. It was new manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s first league win as Cardiff City manager and the team’s first league win since the 14th December 2013.
Both teams will go into the game with different managers to when the teams met earlier in the season.
Cardiff City have won the last 2 Welsh Derbies with a 1-0 scoreline.
Cardiff hold the upper hand in the previous 106 meetings with 44 wins to Swansea’s 35, with 27 games finishing as a draw.
Swansea City go into the game with no new injuries. They will be without long term injury victims Michael Vorm (knee) Jose Canas (ankle) and Michu (ankle). Jonjo Shelvey will undergo a late fitness test in an attempt to make his return.
Expect changes from their last fixture, a 2-0 loss to West Ham United as Garry Monk looks to stamp his authority on the Swansea squad.
Cardiff City will only be without Mark Hudson (Hamstring) and Andrew Taylor (calf) other than that they will be at full strength. Expect to see Wilf Zaha to start after his impressive display off the bench in their last game against Norwich City.
With Michu out of the side the goalscoring responsibility has fallen to Wilfried Bony, the Ivory Coast international has taken on that responsibility and has scored 13 goals in all competitions, with 7 of those in the Barclays Premier League from only 13 starts.
He scores as goal every 180 minutes and has a 50% chance completion rate.
If Cardiff City want to get anything out of this game then goalkeeper David Marshall will need to be in as inspired form as he was against Norwich last time out. On the back of signing a new long term deal in the week Marshall’s confidence should be sky high.
With 5 clean sheets and 95 total saves, Marshall is making a save every 22 minutes.
As with all derbies, form goes out the window. However, neither of these teams are in any sort of form. I’d expect a tough and tight game to be low scoring. I cannot see either team coming out on top so expect a 1-1 draw.