|Swansea City 3 v 0 Cardiff City|
Sunday, 17th October 2021 Kick-off 12:00
This is the South Wales derby, have no fear, because everything is on the line.
Saturday, 16th Oct 2021 15:33 by David Cornish
No form guide, no league position, not even a difference of 92 league places would make much of an impact on Sunday’s south Wales derby. Even though Swansea City hold the most wins by some way overall, again that counts for nothing. However, there are a few things we should all be aware of. And these maybe are the deciding factors that may well lead to either side clinching a victory.
The first major south Wales derby in front of passionate supporters since January 2020, a few weeks before the Covid-19 lockdown is waited on with massive anticipation. That’s well over eighteen months. Even during the lockdown when the two sides met in the two behind closed doors games, they couldn’t be separated. Swansea won 2-0 at Cardiff in December 2020, and Cardiff won at Swansea 1-0 in March this year. Some would argue a 2-1 aggregate to the swans but thats not the point. Nothing separates these sides that often.
FA Cup, League Cup, minor English cups and of course the league games are where it matters. No matter if it’s a rain sodden Ninian Park in the Autoglass Trophy when the away side beat their hosts in awful conditions in the first fully televised derby game on Sky TV. Or a ‘you couldn’t make it up moment’ when Craig Bellamy scored at the the Liberty. These games have everything. No supporter of either side will be able to tell you if it was a bore draw, or whatever, they are so engrossed in the game, no comprehension of the dynamics are logged in the memory.
It must have hurt the majority of Cardiff fans a lot when the swans went on their seven year premier league journey. Also winning a major trophy, then Europe, and despite the bluebirds excuses they were very much second best. When Cardiff made it for one season all they had to cling on to was a 1-0 win at home in the first Premier League Welsh derby. A few months later that was washed away in an emphatic 3-0 swans win at home. See, your up one minute, down the next. Travel sickness, butterflies and serious nerves, this game has the lot, the whole package. But for the league record here are the stats below, if that is going to matter one iota tomorrow ? I doubt it.
Here I suppose is the difference, and maybe the deciding factor is where the clubs are at today. Russell Martin on the positive front has the most clean sheets in the Championship with six, he has won two games and drawn five and lost four. It’s only eleven games in for the season. The issue as we all know is scoring goals. That’s it, yes, it’s the most important part of the game, but the majority do see it coming. However, only Barnsley, Derby and Hull have scored less than the swans who have nine so far for the season. Looking in to these results and the way the swans played there is a tremendous amount of hope not only for this game but for the rest of the season.
Cardiff City appointed Mick McCarthy earlier this year, and he took his side on a superb run last season, it wasn’t good enough for the play offs, but they definitely played outstandingly well. This season it hasn’t clicked, although away from home Cardiff have been more impressive with wins against Forest and Blackpool, and have added to that by beating Millwall at home. Cardiff have lost their last five games shipping plenty of goals on the way and McCarthy, it has to be said, he is possibly one game away now from the sack. That is the favoured resolution to McCarthy’s tenure if you ask the majority of Cardiff fans.
On the face of it both sides are not in good positions in the championship, the swans just above the bluebirds. Cardiff City’s last game did show slight improvement even though they lost at home to Reading. Once again the swans dominated Derby County on their own patch with manager Wayne Rooney admitting afterwards he hasn’t got the players to match up to Swansea City. It may be tipping slightly in the swans favour, purely down to performance levels. Cardiff did come to the Liberty as it was last season having to avoid defeat or become the first Cardiff side to lose two league games in a season in the history of this fixture. They pulled the rug from under the swans and snatched a 1-0 win. That’s how this fixture goes, it’s impossible to predict.
I’m pretty certain Swansea pubs will be open slightly earlier tomorrow morning, some may even not close overnight, it’s happened many times before. And maybe that’s the difference too, a total sell out of a game with over twenty thousand Swansea City fans roaring their side on. That could be the clincher. Do you know the answer ? It’s the South Wales derby, don’t ask me, I feel sick just thinking about it.
Enjoy the game !
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Photograph Swansea Indeoendent
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