Saturday’s late game brings the season’s second edition of the Welsh Derby, but with an added spice of a relegation battle (watch live on NBC and live online on NBC Sports Live Extra at 12:30 p.m. ET).
It’s Cardiff that are in more dire straits, sitting 19th in the Premier League, two points out of safety. But the Bluebirds are showing signs of life under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – or perhaps it’s the heavy dealings that they did in the January transfer window. It was Kenwyne Jones, scoring just one minute after Craig Bellamy, that gave Cardiff the win over Norwich City last weekend. Oh, and Wilfried Zaha, an early substitute from Solskjaer, set up the first goal. Will we see more of the same from the new Bluebirds?
Swansea, too, are going in a new direction, having sacked manager Michael Laudrup after last week’s 2-0 defeat at West Ham. They’re hoping new boss Gary Monk will be able to stop their downward spiral, with the loss last time out the Swans’ fourth in five games. They’re still 12th, but that means little when it’s just two points above the drop zone.
Michel Vorm is back in goal for Swansea, with Monk determined to do whatever he can to stop Cardiff from knocking in the goals. Marvin Emnes, on loan from Middlesbrough for the second time, gets his first start since returning to the Swans, while Jordi Amat drops to the bench. Other than that, Monk is keeping the faith in Swansea’s regular starters.
For Cardiff, Zaha is rewarded with a start after his performance against Norwich, while Jones retains his spot up top. Kim Bo-Kyung returns to the starting lineup, while Jordan Mutch and Craig Noone drop to the bench.
Swansea City: Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Britton, de Guzman, Emnes, Dyer, Routledge, Bony
Subs: Tremmel, Amat, Taylor, Canas, Hernandez, Lamah, Ngog
Cardiff City: Marshall; John, Caulker, Turner, Fabio; Whittingham, Medel, Kim, Zaha; Bellamy, Jones
Subs: Lewis; Campbell, Noone, Mutch, McNaughton, Dæhli, Cala