CARDIFF are hosting Manchester City at 3pm on Saturday as Neil Warnock’s side brace themselves for a third-straight clash against a top six team.
The Bluebirds got an early lead against Chelsea last week but eventually lost 4-1, succumbing to Eden Hazard’superb hat-trick.
Pep Guardiola’s men enjoyed another three points as Leroy Sane shined in the 3-0 victory against Fulham, responding to his omission against Newcastle a week before.
David Silva is efficiently minimising the loss of Kevin De Bruyne to a long-term injury for Manchester City.
The 32-year-old Spaniard is in exquisite form this season and orchestrated City’s convincing win against Fulham with his daunting passing skills.
Silva’s goal against Cottagers came from his only shot of the game, taking his tally as a Man City player to 50 – becoming only the fifth player to do so for the Citizens.
Cardiff’s defensive line fell like a house of cards shortly after Sol Bamba gave the newly-promoted side a surprising lead against Chelsea.
The 33-year-old defender had a bittersweet afternoon as he gave a penalty away after a silly challenge on Willian later in the game.
The Bluebirds’ defenders looked slow and clumsy and Chelsea players took full advantage, making Warnock scratch his head ahead of the clash with the Premier League’s deadliest offensive line.
The stat that matters
Manchester City are winless in six top-flight away fixtures against Cardiff since a 3-0 victory in January 1954.
What the boss said
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash, Warnock said of City’s surprise midweek defeat to Lyon: “It’s a blip and might give them a kick up the backside.
“I don’t think it helps us at all. They made a few changes and looked a lot stronger when they put the regulars on in the second half.
“When I watch them I think ‘thank goodness we only play them twice’.”
Guardiola said: “[The] Premier League is physical. Not just Cardiff. I realised that when I arrived. Cardiff has a way to play and we have to adapt.
“Benjamin Mendy’s injured. I don’t know how long. There’s a problem with the bone in his foot.”
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Sergio Aguero, fresh from signing a new contract at the Etihad, will be looking to add to his three Premier League goals, all of which came against Huddersfield.
Harry Arter returns from illness for Warnock’s side but the Welsh outfit will be without Aron Gunnarsson.
Cardiff: Etheridge, Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett, Camarasa, Ralls, Arter, Hoilett, Reid, Ward
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Delph, Bernado Silva, Fernandinho, David Silva, Sterling, Aguero, Sane
Manchester City have already lost points to a recently promoted side but it is difficult to see Cardiff coming out on top in this clash. 4-1 to Pep’s men.