Emirates FA Cup Preview | Cardiff City vs. Leeds United
Cardiff City welcome Leeds United to Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday afternoon (08/01) in the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup, 2pm KO.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | IN THE DUGOUT
Leeds United’s manager is American Jesse Marsch, who replaced Marcelo Bielsa as head coach in February 2022.
Marsch became just the third American to manage in the Premier League, after Bob Bradley and German-born David Wagner.
He began his managerial career in the USA with Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls, before making the move to Austria to take the hot-seat at Red Bull Salzburg.
It was with Die Roten Bullen that Marsch caught the eye, winning the Austrian Bundesliga and the Austrian Cup on two occasions.
Salzburg’s talented side under Marsch included the likes of Manchester City’s Erling Haaland, former Liverpool attacker Takumi Minamino and Hungarian playmaker Dominik Szoboszlai, the latter following the American to his next role at German club RB Leipzig.
After mutually agreeing to leave Leipzig, Marsch joined Leeds United just two months later and guided them to Premier League safety at the end of last season.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | KEY PLAYER
Leeds’ talisman this season has been attacker Rodrigo, who signed for the club following their promotion to the Premier League from Valencia for a reported £27 million.
Capped 28 times by Spain, Rodrigo has scored ten goals in 17 appearances this season, averaging a goal every 115 minutes.
The striker’s contribution at the end of last season was huge, netting in all four of the final fixtures of the campaign, as Leeds ensured safety with a dramatic late win at Brentford.
This term, the Spaniard has starred in some huge wins over Liverpool and Chelsea, as well as scoring twice in an enthralling 4-3 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
CLUB CONNECTION | CODY DRAMEH
This weekend’s clash could see the Bluebirds face off against former loanee Cody Drameh.
The talented right-back made an impression during a loan spell in the Welsh capital last season, making 22 appearances for City.
Drameh quickly became a popular figure with the Bluebirds fanbase for his commitment and dynamism on the right flank.
At the end of the campaign, the defender was rewarded by being named both Cardiff City Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season.
IN THE PRESS | WHAT’S BEEN SAID
The Bluebirds will face off against Premier League opposition in the FA Cup for the second season running, after last year’s clash with Liverpool at Anfield.
Ahead of taking on Leeds United, City boss Mark Hudson said: "When you play a Premier League team you will be an underdog, but we have worked on how we can play going forward and how we can get players in the box that can pose a threat. It’s a team that we’ve done well against historically and we are looking forward to it."
Tom Sang also spoke to the press ahead of this weekend’s clash and is relishing Sunday’s challenge.
"I'm really looking forward to it. Any time we can get an opposition like a Premier League side, it's a big incentive for all the lads to go and do well, prove that we can get a result against them and move on to the next stage.”