|Swansea City v Cardiff City|
Sunday, 17th October 2021 Kick-off 12:00
Three Swansea City match winners in a race against time
Wednesday, 13th Oct 2021 07:58 by David Cornish
Olivier Ntcham, Michael Obafemi and Liam Walsh are all involved in a concerted effort to be fit for the South Wales derby against Cardiff City on Sunday. All three are battling to be involved in the biggest home game of the season at the Swansea.Com stadium.
Both Swansea and Cardiff have had poor starts to the current Championship campaign, but it’s Cardiff who will be more concerned going in to Sunday’s game. The swans have an excellent defensive record this term, and Cardiff after a decent start have flattered to deceive in most of their games. The gloves are off though, and regardless of league position this game is a make or break for both sides after the international break.
It’s been frustrating for Walsh so far, but not unexpected
Cardiff manager Mick McCarthy is under pressure to win this game convincingly, whilst swans boss Russell Martin will be more than happy his side have the best defensive record in the league, and the best possession stats as well. Ntcham is touch and go for the derby game after pulling out of the Fulham away game two weeks ago with a possible hamstring pull. His reintroduction to regular football has been difficult for him as he hasn’t played much first team football since leaving Celtic on loan to Marseille at the start of February. Obafemi on the other hand is clearly a constant injury concern. Before joining Swansea he played 32 games in three years, scoring 4 goals. Now after 3 swans appearances he is suffering greatly from his main attribute, and that is pace and anticipation off the ball.
Obafemi has everything that Swansea and Russell Martin need from a front player, however his lightening pace is causing its own issues for the Republic of Ireland forward. He is rated as fifty fifty for the derby clash, which is a huge disappointment for the swans. Both Ntcham and Obafemi have been receiving intensive treatment over the last ten days. Both will be put under the microscope on Friday in individual fitness sessions, and if successful will rest up on Saturday on the eve of the home clash against Cardiff.
Liam Walsh, to complete the trio of new signings has featured on the bench over the last two games, but hasn’t managed to get any minutes on the pitch. Walsh has been managed very carefully by the swans. Again he has only managed 46 games in the last 3 seasons, and although impressive in his two Swansea outings, his injury record continues to be a worry. Swansea would have no worries at all if all three were fit and would be certain favourites for the midday clash on Sunday against Cardiff. Unfortunately that is not the case.
Ntcham is very close to starting on Sunday
Swansea City followers will be keen to see all three involved on Sunday as all offer completely different options to Russell Martin, compared to the more direct style of Mick McCarthy. The hope is that the swans manage to get their match winners fit for the big game as all three will have a huge impact on the result if they play.
The game is now a complete sell out for home fans, however Cardiff City seem to be struggling to sell their allocation of 1,800. With four sale days to go there are still 400 tickets left for general sale to the bluebirds.
The game kicks off at Midday on Sunday and will be screened LIVE by Sky Sports.
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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