Manchester City will be aiming to make it two English Premier League wins in a row on Sunday August 25 when they travel to Wales to take on newly-promoted Cardiff City. Man City was 4-0 winners in their first league match on Monday when they thumped Newcastle United while Cardiff were beaten in their curtain raiser 2-0 at Upton Park to West Ham.
This is an important game for City even though on paper it looks like it may be a cakewalk. These are exactly the type of games the team needs to win if they hope to regain the league title from cross-town neighbours Man United. Cardiff should be pumped to be playing their first-ever game in the Premier League in front of their home fans and anything can happen on a football pitch once the adrenaline starts to flow.
Cardiff’s Craig Bellamy will be playing against his old club in City which should mean he’ll be even more energized than usual and will be a handful for city defenders. Cardiff will have their work cut out for them with City’s squad full of internationals. Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko have proved they can score on any stage and if Cardiff does get any chances they’ll have to beat England international goalkeeper Joe Hart.
The best way for teams like Cardiff to play the league’s top clubs is just to have a go at them instead of sitting back and playing defensively and too cautious. If you’re expected to lose anyway then come out with guns blazing and just take it to them whenever you have a chance. Force City to earn a victory instead of simply handing it to them by inviting them to attack in waves.
For Cardiff, we may see Danish striker Andreas Cornelius get his debut in the Premier League. He had an injured ankle and had to sit out last week’s game with West Ham. He should be fit for this match though and Cardiff needs as much help as they can get up front. Manager Malky Mackay will also have Andrew Taylor back in the squad as he returns from a suspension. He’ll probably play at left-back instead of Declan John. It’s possible the manager also plays John Brayford instead of Matthew Connolly in the back four.
The bad news for Man City is that captain Vincent Kompany is likely to miss the next month’s worth of games due to a groin problem. The Belgian international will likely be replaced at the centre-back position by Matija Nastasic as long as he’s recovered from an injured ankle. The injury-prone Micah Richards will probably be out again as he has a hamstring problem. However, it’s possible that striker Stevan Jovetic has recovered from his own hamstring injury and will get his league debut.
Cardiff could pull out a draw if they attack and can convert on a chance or two. But in the end, expect to see City do something to spoil the party and take home all three points to England.
Sportsbook William Hill has the current odds of a Cardiff victory at 6/1 with a Man City win at 4/9 and a draw at 17/5.