Odds: Cardiff 7/1, Draw 15/4, Manchester City 5/11
These sides had contrasting starts to their season with Cardiff losing their Premier League opener to West Ham at Upton Park whilst Manchester City hammered Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium.
However with Cardiff playing in their first home Premier League match, there promises to be a bit of extra spice to this encounter. Home form will be important in Cardiff’s quest for survival so a good result here could be the springboard to securing Premier League survival.
Manchester City are not without their problems going into this game despite their impressive start, notably at centre-back. Matija Nastasic picked up an injury before the start of the season but there are reports he could return for Sunday’s game with Vincent Kompany picking up a groin injury against Newcastle. If Pellegrini were to pick his two centre-halves it would mean to predominantly left-sided players operating at the back, perhaps leading to an uncomfortable afternoon for at least one of Nastasic or Joleon Lescott.
Cardiff’s only injury concern is Andreas Cornelius but indications suggest that he could be considered for selection which would mean the club’s record signing could start up front on his Premier League debut.
If Cardiff play at a high intensity and get into Manchester City’s faces early on they have a real chance of taking something from the game and making it a very uncomfortable afternoon for Pellegrini’s men – it’s a question of whether they can keep that intensity up, or whether City’s class will eventually shine through. It is the type of game that City ought to win if they are to reclaim their Premier League crown come May.
Expect this to be fast, frantic and brilliant to watch.
Last time they met
Cardiff City 1-0 Manchester City, January 1994 FA Cup 4th Round
This match is one to remember for the Cardiff City fans, and one to forget for followers of Manchester City, as the third division Welsh pulled off a memorable giant killing. The only goal came midway through the second half courtesy of a wonderful left-footed, curling strike from Nathan Blake to send the Premier League side out of the FA Cup, and sending Ninian Park wild. It wasn’t the only drama to happen as Mark Grew managed to save Keith Curle’s penalty.
image: © joncandy