Cardiff look to equal 60 year old club record and keep Bluebirds heads above water


Cardiff City’s emotional battle against relegation heads to Craven Cottage on Saturday against a Fulham side, one third of whose total league wins have come in the last fortnight.

Fulham are already relegated but have belatedly started to perform to the ability of their parts with impressive wins over Everton at home and Bournemouth away.

Having conceded 76 goals in their previous 33 games, the Whites kept two clean sheets.

Cardiff have been in poorer form but the freefall of Brighton have left them with a lifeline. The battle to avoid the drop between Cardiff and the Seagulls hangs totally on how many points the Welsh side can glean from their remaining three games.

Brighton have not scored for seven games and finish the League campaign with fixtures against Newcastle, Arsenal and Manchester City. It’s hard to see how they will move far off their current 34 points.

That leaves Cardiff three games to get to 35, four points away, After Saturday’s game they entertain Crystal Palace at home and Manchester United at Old Trafford. Palace have an excellent away record with eight wins from 18. United at Old Trafford is never easy.

So Cardiff will look at Saturday’s game as a must-win against a side with nothing to play for despite their recent form.

Team News

Republic of Ireland international Harry Arter is touch and go to recover from a calf muscle strain but Callum Paterson will be unavailable and will undergo an ankle operation on Monday. Like him,  Sol Bamba will miss the rest of the season, in his case an ACL knee injury being the issue.

There’s good news for Fulham in that Alfie Mawson whose season has been bedeviled by injury may return. A club source said:

“He’s been back now for the last few weeks, played a couple of U23 games, so we’re looking forward to getting him involved, hopefully at the weekend.”

Captain Tom Cairney can return now that his girlfriend has given birth, but Andre Schurrle is a doubt as his wife is expecting.

With Fulham’s bulldog forward Aleksandar Mitrovic hungry to show why he deserves to stay in the EPL with another club, the absence of Paterson and Bamba may leave the Cardiff defence vulnerable.

Statistically Speaking

Cardiff have a 100% record against Fulham in the EPL. To retain that, they will have to win consecutive away top flight matches for the first time in 60 years.

Cardiff won the previous meeting this year 4-2, Josh Murphy, Bobby Reid, Paterson and Kadeem Harris being the scorers. It was Cardiff’s first win of the season. Scurrel and Ryan Sessegnon scored for Fulham.

In the battles between promoted clubs, no away victory has been recorded for 23 games since Leicester beat Burnley 1-0 in April 2015 but the last seven teams to win away at a fellow promoted side have all avoided relegation.

Prediction: Fulham 2 : 1 Cardiff City

Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistants: Daniel Cook, Marc Perry
Fourth official: Michael Oliver


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