To be played on Saturday 19th October 2013 at 15:00. Venue: Stamford Bridge, London
For Chelsea they will be hoping to keep the pressure on Arsenal and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League as they sit only two points adrift at this early stage of the season. A lot of the focus at Cardiff, however, has been surrounding the future of manager Malky McKay after owner Vincent Tan replaced head of recruitment with Iain Moody, and replacing him with a 23-year-old who apparently has no experience in football – but is a friend of the owner’s son. In terms of their league position Cardiff lie in 14th place with eight points from their seven games.
Cardiff’s only injury worry seems to be surrounding the fitness of Andreas Cornelius who is a doubt for Saturday’s encounter at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have a few more worries. Jose Mourinho hinted before the international break that Fernando Torres could return to the side for this game, but it may be too early for him as he continues to recover from a knee injury – whilst there has yet to be any timescale put on the rib injury of Ashley Cole’s who missed England’s World Cup qualifiers a result.
Oscar is Chelsea’s top scorer with three league goals whilst Frazier Campbell is Cardiff’s leading league scorer with two goals.
Chelsea’s home form: Played 3, Won 3, Drawn 0, Lost 0, Goals For 6, Goals Against 1
Cardiff’s away form: Played 3, Won 1, Drawn 1, Lost 1, Goals For 3, Goals Against 4
Chelsea had 55% of the possession in their last match – a 3-1 win at Norwich City.
Cardiff had 57% of the possession in their last match – a 2-1 home defeat to Newcastle.
Chelsea’s last six: 3 Wins, 2 Draws, 1 Lost
Cardiff’s last six: 2 Wins, 2 Draws, 2 Lost
Five players to watch:
Currently Chelsea’s top goal scorer in the league and seems to be thriving working under Jose Mourinho. Cardiff will be concerned about what the Brazilian will have to offer.
Despite not scoring after starting against Norwich, Ba looked very effective and was a big help in the opening goal at Carrow Road. Will Mourinho give him another chance? Or will Samuel Eto’o get the nod at the spearhead of the Chelsea attack?
With there being doubts over the fitness of Ashley Cole, this could be the opportunity for Bertrand to prove that not only is he a worthy deputy, but to make Mourinho think that Cole isn’t immune from the drop when he’s fit.
Campbell can sometimes thrive in the bigger games and he will probably target John Terry with his pace. Though it’s unlikely Chelsea will try and hold such a high line against Campbell, if their defence gets caught slightly out of position, Campbell will hope to capitalise.
Or it could be one of those games of attack v defence and Marshall will have a lot of work to do in the Cardiff goal. If he puts on a good performance, then his team might just escape from Stamford Bridge with a pretty good result.
Last time they met:
Chelsea 4-1 Cardiff – FA Cup fifth round, February 2010
This was the season when Chelsea were marching to a double during the first season under the stewardship of Carlo Ancelotti. Didier Drogba opened within two minutes until Michael Chopra equalised for Cardiff 11 minutes before half time. They weren’t level for long however as Ballack put Chelsea back in front shortly after the break before Daniel Sturridge got amongst the goals. Salomon Kalou grabbed the fourth five minutes before the end to give Chelsea a safe passage through to the quarter-finals.