Cardiff City were quite poor in their 0-3 loss to Southampton on Boxing Day. They struggled right from the start and never got into the match at all managing just nine shots and not a single one on target. The match was basically over after the third Saints goal went in at the 27th minute.
Sunderland’s 0-1 away win over Everton was certainly the shock result of the day. Not many expected the team at the bottom of the table to bring Everton’s first defeat at Goodison Park this season. Still it was a deserved win in which they showed great spirit to hang on to their early 1-0 win. This is the type of match which they needed and one which could propel them on and keep them up come the end of the season.
What to expect
If Cardiff expect to stay up this season they will need to show more spirit than they did on Thursday. This is their chance to prove themselves against another struggling team. It’s likely to be a low scoring draw with both teams looking to keep the scoring low while also trying to get a counter attack or set piece goal. A set piece seems the most likely way that either of these teams will score.
Craig Bellamy is likely to miss out once again. Gary Medel missed the loss to Southampton through illness but may be rushed back here given the resounding defeat. Cardiff should return to a 5 man midfield here.
Gus Poyet has good reason to stick with the same eleven that started – and won – at Everton last time out. The same players remain available to him, and if Steven Fletcher is able to play again so soon after injury then he will start up front on his own. John O’Shea missed the Everton game through injury so Diakite could start alongside Roberge at the back.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
Cardiff would be happy with a draw considering what all has gone of the field in past 24 hours against a Sunderland team that are improved of late. The teams could well cancel each other out.
Cardiff City 1-1 Sunderland