Swansea and Cardiff renew league hostilities tomorrow morning when the sides face off against each other at the Liberty Stadium.
It is the first league meeting between the sides in nine years, and comes just eight weeks after the Swans claimed bragging rights with a 1-0 victory in the Carling Cup.
Goalscorer that night, Jordi Gomez, is out through suspension, whilst Ferrie Bodde and Leon Britton look set to miss out with injuries.
With the heart ripped from the Swansea side, Owain Tudur Jones and Darren Pratley are likely to be at the centre of a four man midfield; a formation that Roberto Martinez isn’t overly keen on.
The hosts recent form has been up and down, with impressive wins over Norwich and at home to Watford, but disappointing results against Watford in the League Cup and Birmingham at home.
Cardiff meanwhile have been consistently inconsistent. They have won only one of their last five; a 2-1 home victory over Crystal Palace.
But despite their patchy form they still lie in the last Championship play – off spot. A spot the Swans can take off them with a victory tomorrow.
Dave Jones has virtually a fully fit sqaud available to him after Jay Bothroyd and Ross McCormack recovered faster than expected from hamstring injuries. Welsh international Joe Ledley is also expected to play with a protective cast on a dislocated finger.
‘We want to be in the Premier League and you don’t achieve that by beating your rivals.’
‘It’s a big derby and a big game, but for us every game in this division is a big game,’ he said.
‘Everyone is really, really looking forward to the occasion.’
‘They’ve got huge players, a lot of Premier League players on loan and that’s the opposition we are going to be facing.’
‘We are not under any illusions in that respect.’
Cardiff gaffer Dave Jones:
‘There’s a danger you play the occasion, rather than the game.’
‘We all know about bragging rights and we know how important the game is, but more importantly there’s three points up for grabs.’
‘We know we let ourselves down last time because we didn’t play as well as what we could do.’
‘They deserved the victory and sometimes you’ve got to take that on the chin – and we did. Now we’ve got to put things right.’
Swansea City Team News:
Ferrie Bodde and Marcos Painter are out with long term injuries, whilst Leon Britton also looks set to miss out with a back injury. Jordi Gomez misses the game after accumulating five yellow cards.
Player to watch: Jason Scotland
The Trinidad and Tobago international tends to save his best for the big games and he may be able to silence a few critics with a big performance and, hopefully, the winning goal.
Cardiff City Team News:
Peter Whittingham is the only noteable absentee for the Bluebird’s who welcome back strikers Jay Bothroyd and Ross McCormack. Welsh international Joe Ledley is also expected to play.
Player to watch: Michael Chopra
The loanee from Sunderland is in his second spell at Ninian Park and has bags of quality. Ashley Williams and Garry Monk can’t afford to take their eyes off this guy for a second.
Match Facts & Stats
The two sides have faced each other in Swansea 29 times. The Jacks have won 17 and lost just five of these encounters.
The last League derby at the Vetch saw the Swans come out on top 2-1, in November 1999.
Saturday 6th December:
Bristol City v Swansea City
Cardiff City v Preston