Preview: Swansea City vs. Cardiff City

Sports Mole previews the South Wales derby between Swansea City and Cardiff City at the Liberty Stadium, where Garry Monk takes charge of the hosts for the first time.

Swansea City head into a crucial South Wales derby against Cardiff City on Saturday without a manager following the sacking of Michael Laudrup.

The Dane is considering legal action against the Liberty Stadium club following their decision to remove him from his post after 20 months in charge.

Experienced centre-back Garry Monk has been promoted to the role of caretaker boss for the visit of their fierce rivals, who won the reverse fixture 1-0 in November, but are also under new management.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recorded his first Premier League win as Bluebirds chief last Saturday with a 2-1 success over Norwich City, and another victory this weekend could lift them out of the bottom three and drag the Swans, who are currently three points above them in the table, deeper into the relegation mire.

The Norwegian may hand Manchester United loanee Wilfried Zaha a first Cardiff start. The England international winger had an impact off the bench on his debut for the club against the Canaries.

Mark Hudson and Andrew Taylor are defensive absentees for the Vincent Tan-owned outfit, and while Declan John deputised at full-back last weekend, Kevin Theophile-Catherine is pushing for a recall.

Swansea's once lengthy injury list is shortening all the time, but Monk will have to wait until the day of the game before making a decision on the fitness of Michu, who has not played since December.

The 18-goal striker from last season could make a cameo appearance off the bench.

Michel Vorm is another long-term absentee who is fighting to make his return in the all-Welsh clash, but Gerhard Tremmel is standing by to retain his place in goal if the Dutchman is unavailable.

Jonjo Shelvey [hamstring] faces a late fitness test, while Jose Canas is ruled out with a foot injury.

Recent form

Swansea: LWWLLW

Cardiff: WLWLLW

Possible starting lineups

Swansea: Tremmel; Rangel, Williams, Flores, Davies; Shelvey, Britton; Routledge, De Guzman, Dyer; Bony

Cardiff: Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Turner, Caulker, Fabio; Noone, Medel, Whittingham, Zaha; Bellamy, Jones

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Arsenal at Liberty Stadium on September 28, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool23138254282647
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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