An in-depth look at Saturday's game.
Cardiff City v Sunderland
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
Date: Saturday, 27th December, KO 5.30pm
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The Bluebirds take on Sunderland at Cardiff City Stadium in a crucial Barclays Premier League match, the last of 2013.
- Cardiff have not met Sunderland in the top-flight since 1956/57, when they won one and drew one of two meetings.
- Sunderland have won only one of their 12 final games of the year in the Premier League (3-1 v Bolton in 2007)
- Sunderland have kept three successive clean sheets in the Premier League – the longest run seen in the PL this season is Southampton’s four in a row (Sept-Oct).
- Cardiff City have lost two successive Premier League games, they have not lost three league games in succession since November 2009.
- Despite playing 18 games fewer in 2013 than Sunderland (36), Cardiff have won just three games fewer in the Premier League this calendar year (4) than their opponents (7).
- David Marshall (70) has made more saves than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League this season.
- Sunderland have lost more points from leading positions than any other side this season (11) in the Premier League.
KEY PLAYER: JACK COLBACK
This season, something which will have come as no surprise to fans of Ipswich Town and Championship football alike, the midfield dynamo has excelled having been given the chance to shine in the centre of the park.
An ever present in the Black Cats midfield, Colback has made 16 league appearances so far at the heart of a tenacious Sunderland engine room.
IN-FORM PLAYER: KI SUNG-YEUNG
On-loan from Swansea City, Ki is enjoying regular football with the Black Cats this season and has more than found his form under new boss Gus Poyet. A goal in their 2-1 victory over Chelsea helped guide the north east side to the Capital One Cup semi-final with his penalty against Everton on Boxing Day helping them to three vital points.
RECENT FORM (ALL COMPETITIONS):
Cardiff City: LDLWLL
Last time out: Cardiff City 0-3 Southampton – Thursday, 26th December, Barclays Premier League.
A first-half brace from Jay Rodriguez and a Rickie Lambert strike put the Saints’ three goals to the good within half an hour at Cardiff City Stadium, a lead they saw out to claim three Boxing Day points.
Team - Cardiff City: Marshall, Théophile-Catherine, Caulker (C), Turner, Taylor (John 60), Whittingham, Gunnarsson (Kim 80), Mutch, Noone, Odemwingie (Cornelius 46), Campbell. Subs not used: Lewis; Hudson, Cowie, Maynard.
Last time out: Everton 0-1 Sunderland – Thursday, 26th December, Barclays Premier League.
Sunderland extended their unbeaten run to four games in all competitions with a vital Boxing Day victory at Goodison Park. The game turned in the 23rd minute as Tim Howard was sent off for a foul, with Sung-Yeung Ki converting the resultant penalty.
It was a lead the Black Cats held on to to claim three vital points and inflict a first defeat at Goodison Park in 2013 for the Toffees.
Team – Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, Diakite, Celustka, Roberge, Larsson, Cattermole, Colback (Giaccherini, 70), Ki, Borini, Fletcher (Altidore, 87). Subs not used: Dossena, Pickford, Johnson, Cabral, Ba.
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Cardiff City: 13/10
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LAST COMPETITIVE MEETING
2006/07: Saturday, 31st March 2007, Championship – Cardiff City 0-1 Sunderland
A 72nd minute strike from Ross Wallace proved the difference in this tight encounter at Ninian Park as the Black Cats continued on their good run of form that saw them to promotion to the Premier League that season.
Team - Cardiff City: Alexander, Gunter, Johnson, McNaughton, Ledley, Parry (Feeney, 74), McPhail, Scimeca (Walton , 46), Whittingham , Thompson, Chopra (Byrne, 86). Subs not used: Forde, Blake.
REFEREE: Chris Foy
Former FIFA-listed referee Chris Foy has been officiating in the Premier League since 2001 and has earned a reputation as one of the most respected referees in the game.
Foy, who was a Football League referee for five years before being promoted to the Select Group in 2001, has been in charge of two major cup finals since his introduction to the top flight.
Foy’s successful domestic career has included the 2009 FA Community Shield and numerous important matches in the Premier League. He was on the FIFA list for five years before stepping down in 2007.
Foy last took charge of a match involving City on the opening day of the Premier League season in the Bluebirds’ 2-0 defeat to West Ham United at Upton Park.