Cardiff City v Arsenal - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

Cardiff City Stadium

To be played on Saturday 30th November 2013 at 15:00. Venue: Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff.

Odds: Cardiff City 5/1, Draw 16/5, Arsenal 8/13

Last season: N/A

Preview & injury news

Cardiff last weekend proved yet again that even the best sides in the division have difficulty leaving their manor with a victory after last week's late equaliser from Ki Bo-Kyung denied Manchester United a win. United go alongside Manchester City and Everton as sides fighting towards the top of the table who failed to leave Cardiff with all three points. 

Arsenal go into this game in a buoyant move having moved four points clear at the top of the table following last week's win over Southampton, and putting themselves within touching distance of getting out of a very difficult Champions League group after their 2-0 win over Marseille at the Emirates Stadium in midweek.

On the injury front, Cardiff don't have any injury concerns, with their only real concern leaving the club on loan this week for Blackburn Rovers in Rudy Gestede.

Arsenal's treatment room seems to be getting a little emptier but there is a concern over left-back Kieran Gibbs who is currently struggling with an illness, whilst Lukas Podolski isn't expected to be available for selection against until mid December and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain won't return until the New Year.

Key stats

Fraizer Campbell is Cardiff City's top scorer in the league this season with three goals.

Olivier Giroud is Arsenal's top scorer in the league this season with seven goals.

Cardiff had 50% possession in their last league match, a 2-2 draw at home against Manchester United.

Arsenal had 49% possession in their last league match, a 2-0 win at home against Southampton.

5 players to watch

Kim Bo-Kyung - He was Cardiff City's hero last week against Manchester United but Kim has a massive job to do in this very quick Arsenal midfield. If he gets the chance to perform similar heroics this weekend, he and the rest of his teammates will have done a pretty good job in the middle of the park.

Mesut Ozil - Many will say that Ozil has been on the quiet side of late and that his missed penalty in the Champions League game in midweek means that not everything is going for him. However, given his quality, even when he's off colour he is more than capable of unlocking a solid defence. 

Fraizer Campbell - Having scored in two big home games for his club this season, who would bet against him doing it for a third time? Campbell may have his work cut out against an in-form Per Mertesacker at the back, but Campbell's pace will give the Arsenal back line some food for thought.

Olivier Giroud - Back amongst the goals against Southampton, he is Arsenal's leading scorer again in the league. With his strength and finishing ability, Giroud will be fancying his chances of getting himself on the score-sheet again. His intervention in this encounter could be telling.

Steven Caulker - You don't really need to give a former Spurs man much motivation against Arsenal do you? But Caulker will yet again have a big task on his hands at the heart of the defence to try and stop the table toppers from recording another win.

Last time they met

Arsenal 4-0 Cardiff City - FA Cup 4th Round Replay - February 2009.

After a goalless draw at Ninian Park, there were no such heroics in this Cup replay as Arsenal brushed Cardiff aside to make the fifth round of the FA Cup. It only took 20 minutes for the Welsh side's resistance to be broken as a result of a header from Eduardo on his return from a horrific broken leg. Nicklas Bendtner doubled the Gunners lead fifteen minutes later before Eduardo managed to get his second - and Arsenal's third - from the penalty spot after he was fouled by Gavin Rae. Robin Van Persie capped off the scoring for the gunners a minute before the end of normal time with a fine strike from the edge of the penalty area. 

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