Pre-Season Match Preview | Cardiff City vs. Southampton
The Bluebirds will welcome supporters back to Cardiff City Stadium for the first time since February 2020 for our pre-season clash with Southampton on Tuesday, July 27th.
Southampton and Newport County: Tickets on sale now!
The Bluebirds' pre-season games against Southampton and Newport County (July 31st, 1pm) will allow us to welcome a limited number of supporters back to Cardiff City Stadium for live football.
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Cardiff City Stadium Protocols for City vs. Southampton
Please note, face masks must be worn when queuing for entry, food/beverage facilities and toilets in the stadium concourses. We also encourage supporters to wear face masks at all times whilst at CCS.
Stadium entry will be via Reception and Gates 2, 3, 8, 12, 15 and 16. Please arrive at the time selected upon purchasing your ticket/s.
Hand sanitiser will be available in convenient locations around CCS. Please make use of these facilities to protect yourself and fellow supporters.
Due to COVID‐19 regulations, alcohol will not be available in general admission areas for this week's two friendly fixtures.
Opposition Focus: Pre-season so far
The Saints will travel to Cardiff City Stadium as part of their five-day training camp in South Wales, which will also see them take in a friendly match against Swansea on Saturday, July 31st. Following their 15th placed finish in the Premier League last season, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men will be looking to hit the ground running when they kick-off their 2021/22 campaign on August 14th, with a trip Goodison Park to face Rafa Benítez’s Everton first up for the Saints.
Southampton began their summer schedule at their training base in the New Forest, before facing Fulham in a behind-closed-doors friendly fixture last Saturday. The Saints and the Whites played out a 1-1 at the former’s Staplewood training ground, with Michael Obafemi assisting Shane Long for the opening goal. However, recently relegated Fulham hit back through Neeskens Kebano, who scored from the penalty spot after Anthony Knockaert was fouled in the box.
After their visit to South Wales, Southampton will return to Hampshire for two final friendly matches ahead of the competitive kick-off. The Saints will take on Levante UD on Tuesday, August 4th, before welcoming Athletic Bilbao to St Mary’s on Saturday, August 7th. Levante finished the 2020/21 La Liga season in 14th position, whilst Bilbao recorded a 10th place finish at the end of the campaign.
Opposition Focus: Summer signings
Theo Walcott returned to Southampton on a permanent basis upon the expiration of his contract with Everton, 15 years after the winger had left St. Mary’s to join Arsenal. The 32-year-old spent the second half of last season back on loan at his boyhood club, scoring three goals in 20 Premier League appearances. During his first spell with the club, Walcott scored four goals in 21 Championship outings during the 2005-06 campaign, earning him a move to the Emirates Stadium.
Romain Perraud became Southampton’s second summer signing on July 2nd, making a permanent move from Stade Brest of Ligue 1. The 23-year-old defender began his career with OGC Nice, before moving to Paris FC in 2018. Two subsequent seasons of top-tier football with Brest followed, earning the left-back a move to the Premier League. Perraud, who has eight caps for the France U21 team, has signed a four-year deal with the Saints.
Perraud’s arrival was precipitated by the departure of fellow left-back Ryan Bertrand, who brought his seven-year stay at St. Mary’s to a conclusion at the end of last season. The former Chelsea man made over 240 appearances for the Saints, having initially joined on a loan deal during the 2014/15 season. The 31-year-old has since joined Leicester City, signing a two-year deal with the FA Cup holders.
Opposition Focus: Ones to watch
Danny Ings netted twelve league goals for the Saints last term, once again finishing as the club’s top scorer. The 29-year-old will be hoping to reach double figures for the third consecutive season, having netted 22 times during the 2019/20 campaign. However, a string of injuries have hampered the forward’s recent career, and Saints boss Ralph Hasenhüttl will be hoping that his star striker can stay fit for the majority of the upcoming campaign.
James Ward-Prowse scooped an impressive set of personal awards at the end of the 2020/21 season, being named as Southampton’s Fans’ Player of the Season and later the Players’ Player of the Season. Remarkably, the Saints’ skipper played every minute of the Premier League season, and made history by becoming the first player to play the full 90 in every game of two consecutive top-flight campaigns. Ward-Prowse, who narrowly missed out on a place in England’s EURO 2020 squad, scored seven goals and contributed nine assists last term.
Nathan Tella enjoyed his breakthrough campaign in the Southampton first team last season, making 18 league appearances for Hasenhüttl’s side. The 22-year-old had starred for the Saints’ youth side in the PL2, and went on to score his first senior goal during a 3-1 victory over Fulham in mid-May. Having started in Southampton’s pre-season opener against Fulham, Tella will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow Saints youth prospect Michael Obafemi and become a regular first team starter this term.