Season preview: Cardiff City

Season preview: Cardiff City
© PA Photos
Sports Mole assesses Cardiff City's chances of retaining their status as a Premier League club over the coming season.

With the Premier League season beginning this weekend, Sports Mole has cast its eye over newly-promoted Cardiff City's summer and their prospects for the 2013-14 campaign.

In:

Andreas Cornelius (FC Copenhagen, £7.5m), Simon Moore (Brentford, Undisclosed),
Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur, Undisclosed), John Brayford (Derby County, Undisclosed), Gary Medel (Sevilla, £9m)

Out:

Jesse Darko (Released), Nat Jarvis (Released), Stephen McPhail (Released), Elliot Parish (Released), Heidar Helgurson (Retired), Ben Nugent (Brentford)

Last Season: 1st, Championship

Manager: Malky Mackay

Three key players:


England's Steven Caulker in action against Italy on June 5, 2013© PA Photos
Steven Caulker - The 21-year-old revealed that he made the move from Tottenham Hotspur to the Cardiff City Stadium to boost his chances of going to next year's World Cup in Brazil, providing that England qualify. So, over the next few months, it will be down to the centre-back to prove that he is worth Roy Hodgson's attention. He showed for Spurs last season that he has plenty of potential, but if Cardiff are to survive, he must start to fulfill it. Having also spent time on loan with Swansea City, he may also have to win over some of his new club's supporters.


Sevilla's Gary Medel in action on March 13, 2011© AP Photos
Gary Medel - It was well known that Mackay was keen to recruit Etienne Capoue, but the Frenchman eventually opted for Spurs. The Cardiff boss refused to look his wounds though and immediately swooped for the fiery Medel from Sevilla. The 26-year-old will bring some tenacity to the Cardiff engine room - something that could prove to be a vital quality in their fight to retain their status. He may miss the odd encounter through suspension though, such is his liking for red and yellow cards!


Craig Bellamy celebrates his goal against Blackburn on December 7, 2012© PA Photos
Craig Bellamy - At the age of 34, Bellamy may not play every week. What's more, he could well find himself out of the starting lineup on occasions for tactical reasons. Nevertheless, having played for six clubs in the Premier League, the Welsh international's experience will be invaluable, particularly during a run of negative results. He also offers versatility thanks to his ability to play either wide or as a centre-forward.


First game: West Ham United (A), Complete fixture list

Sports Mole says: When you consider the amount of money that Cardiff have spent so far this summer, it seems that they have aspirations of more than just surviving come May. However, they are yet to add a proven Premier League footballer to their ranks. Of course, that is not to say that Mackay has not made not shrewd acquisitions, but only time will tell. The Bluebirds do appear to be the best equipped of the newly-promoted trio to stay afloat in the top flight and they should be involved in the fight in the closing stages.

Predicted finish: 18th

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Sevilla's Gary Medel in action on March 13, 2011
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Cardiff complete club-record Medel deal
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