It's almost here - Swansea City vs Cardiff City: the South Wales derby!
Things have certainly changed since the last time the teams met (where Cardiff won 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium, thanks to a goal from Craig Bellamy).
For starters Swansea are in the Premier League! Where last time the Swans had Gower, Moore and Beattie we now have Michu, Vorm and Bony. Swansea have Michael Laudrup, Swansea are league cup winners and Swansea are in Europe! And Cardiff are in the Premier League.
I was planning to write a comprehensive match preview, but realised there are probably about 40,000 others out there at the moment so, instead, myself and the other ForzaSwansea
bloggers are sharing with you a few thoughts ahead of the match in an easy to digest Q&A format!
What's the best thing about the South Wales Derby? Have you missed it?
I've missed the build up! It's great seeing the local papers like the
Evening Post and Western Mail competing for the best headlines and
interviews for this game. It's almost reaching fever pitch. I don't feel
the national media has quite picked up on it yet though. Part of the
build up has been looking-back at old games and memorabilia and that is
something I really enjoy.
The pure intensity of the occasion - it is unrivalled and no other fixture comes close. It’s all about the adrenaline which runs in overdrive for 24 hours either side of the match. It’s never changed and never will.
Well obviously I'm the newbie to the South Wales
derby in the group so I approach it with the freshest of eyes. It just
happened to be by the fates of the football gods that before Cardiff and
Swansea face off, Seattle and Portland do battle in the MLS
Cup playoffs over here. I expect the South Wales derby to be just as intense. I've
read the story of Cardiff supporters being chased off into the water
and that is just awesome!
The incredible atmosphere created by two sets of fans that want
nothing more than to get one over on the enemy. But this isn't just about
the fans - this is about two cities, two clubs, and the whole world will
be watching. I had to wait a long time for my first derby and I also know I'm included in the
thousands of Jacks who will have had a knot in their stomach from last
Sunday knowing this game is coming. Excitement, passion, nerves,
aggression, all building to the crescendo at 4pm on Sunday when the game
I've definitely missed this fixture - so much rides on it. As Jules said, I don't think the national media know how important a match it is, but they will when it's over! Whether you are watching in the stadium, in the pub or at home, this is the match no-one wants to miss.
In a dream, how will Sunday afternoon pan out for you?
A dream would be Swansea losing 1-0 or 2-0 at half time... Stay with me on
this! Then in the second half, Swansea turn on the style (which is the
case recently) and we pull level with 10 minutes to go. Finally in the
dying minutes of the game the Swans score a winner. The Cardiff fans
would feel like they have been robbed! Outstanding!
AJ: A win of course, but the manner is equally as important. We have an opportunity to turn on the style and embarrass them. I am dreaming of a three or four nil humiliation with us bossing from start to finish, with the Redbirds humping it up to our boys at the back. They hate Ashley, Leon, Michu and Routledge most so one goal each for them. The dream will be complete with a deafening boooo around Legoland before Malky gets the boot on Monday morning.
JC: Dream scenario personally for me is Seattle stomps Portland, and across the pond, Swansea smashes Cardiff. Simple as that.
In a nightmare, how will Sunday afternoon pan out for you?
humiliate them on their own patch, in front of their fans, with a
worldwide television audience. That doesn't necessarily mean we beat
them four or five nil, but let's have them chasing shadows all afternoon, silence
their stadium because they can't cope with us (and win the game
obviously) - that would be enough for me. The Sam Hamman comments about
the 'little cousins' down the road will always stick with me, and
passing them into submission while putting two or three on them would be a
satisfying afternoon. Oh and a goal for Chico, that would be enjoyable.
CC: I'd say it's 0-0 until the last few minutes, then Michu uncorks a 30 yard strike into the back of the net. Swans fans go mental. Then moments from the end, Alan Tate abseils from the roof of the stadium, subs himself on then scores an overhead kick from his own penalty area. Perfect.
Nightmare for me would be Cardiff City comprehensively beating us to
produce a 3-0 or 4-1 type result. This would have major repercussions
for me as I work in Cardiff and Monday morning would be dreadful. I
could probably just about swallow a 1-0 defeat.
Don't go there!
JC: Nightmare is obviously the opposite of my dream
scenario. If my voice and liver are gonna be shot this weekend, it
better be because the two clubs I support handled their business!
MJ: We turn up and
don't give 100% for 90 minutes. We need everyone pulling their weight
and no lack of effort. I can accept defeat if we've given it everything,
but to not do so, and lose, I wouldn't be able to accept that.
CC: As the others say, we could probably take a cruel 1-0 defeat, but being hammered by Cardiff would be terrible. It's a match full of emotion and a red card for someone like Ashley Williams would be horrific.
Who is going to be the key player for Swansea?
Recent performance stats indicate that de Guzman and Chico have been the key
players for the Swans so we would need them to maintain that high level
of performance. Hernandez made a great impact during his return last
week against West Ham so a big game from him could make a difference.
Ultimately I feel our striker needs to step up and be counted. If Bony
could score one or maybe two goals on Sunday it would go some way to
justifying that record price tag.
People keep talking about the midfield, but like the West Ham game it’s all about the attack and defence for me. They will bypass the middle all game and it’s no coincidence that West ham and Cardiff have the two least completed passes in the league this season. Our back four have to be dominant and Vorm needs to boss the air, unlike last weekend. Our final ball needs to be better to take the chances that we will undoubtedly create.
Battleship Bony. He'll be the difference with a brace as Swansea win 4-1!
MJ: They'll be
aggressive, pressing, won't let us settle if they can help it and
they'll give maximum effort you can be sure of it. Leon Britton will be key to nullify Mutch and keep the ball rolling for us. Having Williams back is
massive for us too.
Everyone has to bring their A game with them on Sunday, but I feel the passion and work-rate of the Spaniards, in particular Michu, will be key to winning it. Leon Britton and Ashley Williams will also know what rides on this game, so their experience will also be relied upon greatly.
Finally, what's the score going to be?
2-1 to the Swans, one of which will be a penalty!
I’m in for 2-0 and if we play our game I cannot see us losing.
It's gonna be tight. 1-1.
It's a difficult away game, but Swansea definitely have the quality to win it. I'm going for 2-1 to the Swans!