MX23RW : Friday, November 16 18:56:06
Sep 2, 2018 at 1.30pm UK at ​Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 32,316
CardiffCardiff City
2-3
Arsenal
FT

Preview: Cardiff City vs. Arsenal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides predicted lineups, team news and a full match preview of the Premier League clash Cardiff City and Arsenal.

Cardiff City play host to Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday having failed to score a goal since gaining a return to the top flight.

The Gunners make the trip to South Wales having failed to keep a clean sheet since the arrival of Unai Emery, but the North London outfit did register a 3-1 victory over West Ham United last weekend.


Cardiff City

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock watches on during his side's 2-0 defeat to Bournemouth in the Premier League on August 11, 2018© Reuters

Cardiff would have had high hopes of a positive start to the season when being handed fixtures with Bournemouth, Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town, but the Bluebirds have now realised the extent of the task awaiting them in the top flight.

Neil Warnock has witnessed his side go unbeaten in their last two Premier League fixtures, but there was a sense of good fortune about their point against Newcastle and Cardiff should have arguably collected all three points versus Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium.

Warnock would have accepted one win from the opening triple-header, but no triumphs and no goals has put Cardiff under a considerable level of pressure ahead of the meeting with Arsenal.

The newly-promoted side remain the underdogs as they welcome the Londoners to town, but Warnock is aware that his players need to deliver a performance for their supporters.

Warnock would have hoped that a morale-boosting success could have been recorded against Norwich City in the EFL Cup, but a much-changed team suffered a 3-1 defeat to the Championship outfit.

Cardiff are now left with a run of fixtures which sees them face Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City all in succession, and Warnock will privately acknowledge that any points will be considered to be a bonus.

Publicly, Warnock will be doing all that he can to rouse a fanbase that has waited for a return to top-flight football for four years, and the contests coming up are ones which seemed far away before the arrival of the veteran manager.

A '12th man' is often talked about when lower-end clubs face the top teams on their own patch, and Warnock will be looking for a packed-out Cardiff City Stadium to motivate his team to a positive result on Sunday afternoon.

Recent form: LDD
Recent form (all competitions): LDDL


Arsenal

Unai Emery points a finger during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester City on August 12, 2018© Reuters

At a time when Cardiff were facing teams who they would have expected to pick up points from, Arsenal were left with the task of taking on Manchester City and Chelsea on the opening two weekends of the season.

However, new boss Emery will now probably regard that as a blessing in disguise, with the Gunners gradually finding their feet at a time when the squad are still going through a transitional phase.

Arsenal remain far from the finished article and that may not come until the closing months of the season, but a spirited display at Chelsea and a comeback victory over West Ham United should provide reasons for optimism going forward.

There are still concerns regarding a defence which has conceded six goals in three matches, but there should also be a level of understanding for the flair and quality which has been present in each attack.

A sense of realism should not paper over the cracks that are still showing in what is sometimes a disjointed formation, but a win at the weekend would at least give Emery and Arsenal a platform to build on ahead of the next period of the season.

There have been mixed reports regarding the happiness of Mesut Ozil, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not scored in three matches, although these are issues which can potentially solve themselves as the season progresses.

Neither Ozil, Aaron Ramsey nor Alexandre Lacazette have yet made much of an impact in the final third this season, but the fact that Arsenal have already netted five times this season bodes well for their future.

Uncertainty will remain at Arsenal until later in the season but for now at least, the team is improving on a game-by-game basis and that trend could continue in Wales.

Recent form: LLW


Team News

Mesut Ozil wipes his nose on his shirt during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester City on August 12, 2018© Reuters

Emery has confirmed that Ozil is back in contention for Sunday's fixture after sitting out the win over West Ham.

Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles remain on the sidelines, but Lucas Torreira could be given a start in the centre of midfield.

Petr Cech is expected to keep his place between the sticks, leaving summer signing Bernd Leno to stay on the bench.

Cardiff will be without Nathaniel Mendez-Laing after the winger sustained knee ligament damage in the game against Huddersfield.

Junior Hoillet will undergo a late fitness test after missing that game with a groin problem.

Callum Paterson could be drafted into the starting lineup on the right flank.

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Etheridge; Manga, Bamba, Morrison, Bennett; Ralls; Murphy, Arter, Camarasa, Paterson Zohore

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal; Torreira, Xhaka, Ramsey; Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang


Head To Head

Sunday's meeting will represent the 45th time that these two clubs have met in a competitive match, with Arsenal registering 20 wins in comparison to 10 victories for Cardiff.

However, Arsenal head into the match having not suffered defeat against Cardiff in normal time in 13 attempts, a record which stretches all the way back to 1961.

The clubs have not squared off since the 2013-14 campaign, with Arsenal winning both Premier League encounters without conceding a goal.


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We say: Cardiff City 1-3 Arsenal

Cardiff's supporters will be relishing the opportunity to host Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, but Warnock must find the correct balance between pushing for a goal and not being undone at the back. Arsenal are showing that they remain a threat in the final third and they could have too much for the Welsh side.


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Who will win Sunday's Premier League clash between Cardiff City and Arsenal?

Cardiff City
Draw
Arsenal
Cardiff City
10.3%
Draw
0.0%
Arsenal
89.7%
Mesut Ozil in action for Arsenal in the Europa League on April 26, 2018
Read Next:
Mesut Ozil fit to face Cardiff
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205

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