There is a reason why the broadcasters have chosen this clash for the cameras; it’s one of the fiercest rivalries in football. There’s no doubt that fans of Swansea and Cardiff both detest each other but there is something else riding on this fixture as well, with both clubs in the middle of a relegation scrap.
In fact, there’s also another issue to discuss – the managerial situation at the Liberty Stadium. It wasn’t too long ago that Michael Laudrup was being touted as a possible manager of Real Madrid, yet the nature of football means that he is now looking for a new job following his dismissal from Swansea. Nobody knows the true reason behind this decision, although there is no doubt that the Swans are a shadow of the side that Laudrup managed last term. They sit just two points above the drop zone in 12th position, meaning that their opponents could theoretically leapfrog them this weekend. Garry Monk has been the man selected to stop the rot although he’ll have some job on his hands, with the Welsh outfit winning just one of their last ten. Additionally, the Liberty Stadium is hardly proving to be a fortress and the Swans have won just once at home in their last five attempts.
All of the above means that Cardiff should be confident of taking advantage of their opponent’s plight. Something that will certainly boost their confidence for this is their last result, with the Bluebirds coming from behind to beat Norwich 2-1. It took some inventive substitutions from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to turn the game round and following this, there is hope that he might turn out to be the saviour despite his difficult start. Something else that the Norwegian has proven to be successful with is Cardiff’s away form and while a lot of their recent games have been in the FA Cup, they still approach this match having won two of their last three on the road.
As for team news, Swansea are sweating on the fitness of Jonjo Shelvey who has been struggling over the past few days with a hamstring problem. In other news, Jose Canas has recovered from an ankle injury, while Michu and Michel Vorm’s conditions have both improved and both could feature. Following his impact last weekend, Wilfried Zaha is almost guaranteed a start for Cardiff. Juan Cala could also make a debut following his recent switch, but there won’t be a problem for Mark Hudson who has been struggling with a hamstring problem.
If we look towards a prediction, we think that this could be a prime opportunity for Cardiff to claim a crucial three points. The Bluebirds are heading into this game on the back of a victory, while their opponents are in dreadful form and without a permanent manager. As such, our tip is a 2-1 Cardiff win.