He made 13 appearances for the Bluebirds as they suffered relegation from the Premier League, and has so far made seven appearances this season, with the Welsh team sitting on 12 points with just three wins in nine games.
The 24-year-old is set to feature for the Bluebirds on Tuesday night, with the club travelling to the South Coast to face Brighton and Hove Albion, themselves struggling under new head coach Sami Hyypia. Despite reaching the play-off semi-finals last season, Albion have yet to kick on following Hyypia’s appointment, having won just two games this season.
Despite a series of poor performances from both sides, one positive for both is their defensive strength, with the Albion conceding just 10 goals in nine games, and Cardiff letting in 12 in nine. Fabio has been the first-choice left-back at the Cardiff City Stadium this season, and in facing Brighton, he will come head-to-head with the former Almeria and Valencia full-back Bruno.
Both full-backs have been two of the best performing this Championship season, and so we take a look at who could have the biggest impact at the Amex Stadium.
|Mins Played||Mins per Goal Conceded||Error Lead To Shot||Mins per Block||Mins per Tackle||Tackle Accuracy||Mins per Clearance||Mins per Won Duel||Appearances|
It is evident that, despite playing for 140 minutes fewer than 33-year-old Bruno, Fabio has been the standout performer this season.
Despite conceding goals at a faster rate than the Spaniard, Fabio is involved more heavily in the defensive play, completing more blocks, tackles and clearances and winning more duels more frequently. The younger of the duo is also more adept at his defensive duties, winning 78% of his tackles to Bruno’s 71%.
Fabio’s strong defensive play is needed in the Bluebirds ranks, with the club currently conceding the sixth highest shots per game in the division, with 15.9 per game making a total of 143 over the course of the season. On the other hand, Bruno is playing in a defence that is more adept at defending higher up the pitch, with the Seagulls conceding just 9.3 shots per game - the second lowest in the Championship - for a total of 84 over the season.
This is also reflected in the possession stats of the two sides, with Cardiff holding on average just 42.4% of the ball per game - the lowest - whilst Brighton generally control games with 54.3% of the ball in their possession.
It shows highly on Fabio that he can have such an important defensive role in a team that requires highly talented defenders, and with the dominating Brighton hosting Cardiff, it appears as if the Brazilian international will have to put in another high quality performance if the Bluebirds want to take anything from the South Coast.