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Match Previews

Match Preview: Chelsea vs. Cardiff City

14 September 2018

The Bluebirds travel to face the Blues at Stamford Bridge this Saturday afternoon.

Our opponents

Chelsea are currently managed by Maurizio Sarri, who took over the club this summer. The Italian boss replaced Antonio Conte after leaving Italian giants Napoli – a team he guided to second in Serie A during 2017/18. The well-travelled 59 year old also saw his previous club earn 91 points; four points behind champions Juventus.

Founded in 1905, the Blues have achieved 28 major trophies which includes five Premier League titles. Their latest league success was during the 2016/17 campaign. Managed by Conte at the time, the club impressively equalled several previous Premier League records. This includes the record for consecutive victories in a season [13], fewest draws in a season [3], and fewest home draws in a season [0]. They also managed the most wins in a single season [30] – a tally only bettered by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City during the last campaign [32].

So far it’s been a dream start for the Blues. They’ve won all four of the current league outings and sit joint top-of-the-table with Liverpool and Watford. Chelsea defeated visitors Bournemouth 2-0 in their most recent test on Saturday, September 1st. Spanish winger Pedro, who is also their current top scorer [3 goals], netted the opener before Eden Hazard sealed the three points.

Last Time Out: Cardiff City 1-2 Chelsea (11/05/14)

Our final game of the 2013/14 season saw Cardiff City host Chelsea on Sunday, May 11th 2014. The hosts battled for a result but were unfortunate to fall to a 2-1 defeat.

Just under 28,000 spectators witnessed a competitive outing in South Wales which saw current Liverpool starlet Mohamed Salah start for the Blues. However it was City who deservedly broke the deadlock in the first half. On his final senior appearance, Craig Bellamy fired his side ahead with a deflected effort from range after just 15 minutes. The forward was later replaced by Rhys Healey [currently on loan at MK Dons] who was making his First Team debut for the Club.

The home side’s defence remained resilient up until two quick-fire goals in the 72nd and 75th minute. German international André Schürrle equalised before striker Fernando Torres fired home the decisive effort.

Club Connections

There are familiar faces in both squads ahead of Saturday’s match-week five clash. Cardiff City’s No.1 Neil Etheridge, began his trainee career with the London side. The Philippines international spent three years with the Blues before making the switch to rivals Fulham in 2006.

Amongst the ranks at Chelsea are former Bluebird Danny Drinkwater. The England international joined City side on a short term loan deal during the 2010/11 campaign. While only 20 years of age during his time in South Wales, Drinkwater then went on to join Leicester City two years later. The midfielder was instrumental to a Championship winning squad [2013/14] and a mind-blowing Premier League winning team [2015/16]. His undeniable exploits as a central midfielder would eventually lead to a £35 million transfer fee when he signed for Chelsea in September 2017. Drinkwater is yet to make a league appearance this campaign following stiff competition for places.

Not many expected former Chelsea icon Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to sign for the club in August 2007. The Dutchman, then aged 35 years old, joined City in the latter stages of his career after tallying 88 goals in 177 games in total for the Blues [2000-2004]. However, the skilful forward proved that age is just a number during his season long stay with Cardiff City. Hasselbaink notched nine goals in total for the Bluebirds. Arguably his most memorable came in our famous FA Cup win at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, February 16th, 2008. The No. 36 dummied his markers with a smart cut back before firing exquisitely into the top-left corner. City won the match 2-0 and remarkably progressed as far as the final of the competition.

An unexpected club-link runs through the DNA of striker Kenneth Zohore. Our Danish forward is the second-cousin to retired Chelsea forward Didier Drogba. The renowned frontman recorded an impressive 164 goals for the Blues and was pivotal to their 2011/12 Champions League success; scoring a late equaliser and the decisive penalty in the final vs. Bayern Munich on Saturday, May 19th, 2012.

Away tickets for this match have now sold out! You can listen in to live commentary courtesy of Cardiff City TV. Subscribe now for just £30 for 12 months and get a host of behind-the-scenes video access - and more!


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