EPL Preview: Chelsea vs Cardiff City
Oct 19, 2013 at 3pm (UK)
It has been far from a perfect start for Jose Mourinho’s return at the Stamford Bridge helm. His side came under the scanner last week against Norwich at Carrow Road but the Portuguese rung on the changes late on to ensure three vital points in the kitty. However, as Paul Merson says Mourinho s far from knowing what his best eleven is.
Cardiff City however on the other hand, have blown hot after being promoted to the Premiership. Their hurrah moment did come when they edged out Manchester City by a 3-2 scoreline at home. The Welsh side were unlucky to be on the wrong side of the scoreline against Newcastle two weeks out and would certainly be looking to avoid defeat but given that they travel to Stamford Bridge it will always be a daunting start.
The Blues from London will look to extend a twelve match home unbeaten run when they host Malky Mackay’s boys. Chelsea have scored more than twice every match in their last eight outings at the Bridge and would certainly be looking to match that against Cardiff.
Mourinho will be without the injured quartet of Marco van Ginkel, Tomas Kalas, Fernando Torres and Ashley Cole hence Ryan Bertrand is expected to play in the left back position. It would be interesting to see with whom the self proclaimed “Special One” starts up front but it looks like Samuel Eto’o will get the nod ahead of Demba Ba.
For Cardiff though, Mackay will have a full squad to choose from apart from Andreas Cornelius.
The Blue Brids will look to Frazier Campbell’s attacking prowess if they are trouble a very strong Chelsea side at the Bridge and will sit back to absorb pressure and attack on the counter when and if possible. As for Chelsea though, nothing less than a convincing win will satisfy the home faithful and the players will certainly be up for it.
Tactically, it would be interesting to watch how Chelsea line up. Whether Oscar will be preferred over Mata for the number ten role will certainly be something everyone wants to see. The Spaniard on the other hand would want to prove he is no pushover and would certainly want to prove he is the lynchpin of Chelsea’s midfield which is buoyed by riches. As for Cardiff as well we expect them to play five across midfield and cut out the spaces thus playing an overloaded midfield guarding the fragile defence.
The quality of the Chelsea side means they will surely run out yet another comfortable win at home while Cardiff have to work their socks off to get anything from this encounter.
Predicted starting lineups:
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Bertrand; Lampard, Ramires; Schurrle, Mata, Oscar; Ba
Cardiff City: Marshall; Taylor, Caulker, Turner, Theophile-Catherine; Medel, Whittingham, Kim, Gunnarsson; Odemwingie, Campbell
- Chelsea have won 10 and drawn one of their last 11 Barclays Premier League games at Stamford Bridge.
- Cardiff have kept a clean sheet in just one of their seven Barclays Premier League games so far.
- Chelsea have scored exactly two goals in each of their last eight home games in the Barclays Premier League.
- Cardiff glovesman David Marshall has made more saves than any other Premier League goalkeeper this season (31).
- Only four games have seen a side attempt 10 or more shots on target this season in the Premier League, two of which have been against Cardiff City (versus Spurs and Newcastle).
- Cardiff City have conceded four goals from outside the penalty area this season; a league-high.
- Chelsea are one of only two Premier League sides (along with Stoke City) for whom a striker has not scored a league goal this season.
Chelsea 3-0 Cardiff City.