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

City Of Manchester Stadium

To be played on Saturday 18th January 2014 at 15:00. Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

Odds: Manchester City 1/7, Draw 17/2, Cardiff City 22/1

Last season: N/A

Preview & injury news

Manchester City go into this having won nine of their last ten league games which leaves them breathing down Arsenal's neck in the title race. Here they hope to keep up their 100% record by getting some kind of revenge against the side that shocked them on the second weekend of the Premier League season in the form of Cardiff City. Cardiff, however, are not living up to the heights of their opening home game of the season in the league table as they currently sit in the relegation zone on goal difference with Ole Gunnar-Solskjaer still getting to grips with the job in the Welsh capital.

On the injury front, Sergio Aguero may return to the starting line up for the home side after coming off the bench to score in the FA Cup replay against Blackburn Rovers, whilst both David Silva and Yaya Toure should be fit enough for selection after a knock and a back injury respectively. Jack Rodwell and Stevan Jovetic are unavailable until the end of the month with hamstring injuries whilst Samir Nasri is out until March with a knee injury after being on the wrong end of a bad tackle against Newcastle United. 

For Cardiff, they will take comfort from their injury list not being so extensive but they would like to have Jordan Mutch in the squad as he has popped up at some crucial times for the team this season, but that's unlikely to be this weekend as he has a hamstring problem whilst Andrew Taylor has a knock.  

Key stats

Sergio Aguero is Manchester City's top scorer in the league this season with 13 goals.

Fraizer Campbell and Jordan Mutch are Cardiff City's top scorers in the league this season with four goals each.

Manchester City had 46% possession in their last league match, a 2-0 win away against Newcastle United.

Cardiff City had 63% possession in their last league match, a 2-0 defeat at home to West Ham United.

5 players to watch

Sergio Aguero - Having scored on his return to action after a spell on the sidelines, Man City's top league scorer may well be given the nod to start this weekend ahead of either Alvaro Negredo or Edin Dzeko who have made sure Man City have coped in the Argentine's absence. 

Fraizer Campbell - Campbell gave Man City a torrid time earlier on in the season when Cardiff caused the first major upset of the season. His pace to get in and behind the back four and awareness around the penalty area ensured he was a handful. Can lightning strike twice?

David Silva - Silva has had his fair share of knocks this season and is expected to return from another one. Solskjaer may try and set his side up to be solid. Silva has the ability to open up the most solid defences in the league so it wouldn't be surprising if he is at the centre of a lot of the home side's more productive play.

Craig Noone - Noone is a tricky player who has got good ball control and has a pretty effective delivery which can trouble any back line. Man City will do well not to give him time and space because one good delivery could end up producing the goods for the visitors.

Joe Hart - The reverse fixture showed that Hart wasn't in the best of form. During the course of the season Costel Pantilimon has been in goal but Hart has regained his place, and has shown signs of returning to his best form. This game could showcase how much his form has improved since his day to forget in Cardiff.

Earlier on in the season

Cardiff City 3-2 Manchester City, August 2013

Cardiff produced the first big shock of the season in their first home game in the Premier League by upsetting Manchester City. After a goalless first half, the visitors took the lead through Edin Dzeko's strike just after half-time only for them to show some frailties as Aron Gunnarsson equalised. Cardiff started to get some joy from set pieces as Fraizer Campbell headed home from a corner, which he added to from another corner late on into the game. Alvaro Negredo came off the bench to grab his first goal for the club with a header to set up a tense finish but Cardiff managed to see things through and get their first win.

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