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Wales Online
Wales Online
Glen Williams & Ian Mitchelmore & Mathew Davies & Tom Coleman

Swansea City v Cardiff City exact scoreline predicted as experts all pick same winner

It's the first South Wales derby of the season this weekend.

As ever there is more on the line than just three points, with the hosts out to reassert their authority over a fixture they have dominated in recent years, while the Bluebirds will be out to right the wrongs of the same period.

Swansea achieved the double last season - the first time it has ever been done in the history of the rivalry - by an aggregate score of 7-0. Swansea are in the better form and are more settled with head coach Russell Martin finding his feet, while Cardiff are still in managerial limbo.

Here is how our writers think the match will play out...

READ MORE: Joe Allen 'angry and upset' as Swansea City star to miss Cardiff City clash amid World Cup worry

Mat Davies - head of football

With Swansea at home, in better form and with a permanent manager in place they have to be seen as favourites, and rightly so.

There are a couple of caveats to that, though. Joel Piroe and Jamie Paterson - so influential in last season's games - are missing through suspension and injury respectively, and with Joe Allen still working his way back to full fitness, the hosts will be without three of their biggest names.

This Cardiff side are different to previous versions; a massive squad reshape in the summer means few players will be infected by the Bluebirds' poor record in this fixture, which, mentally, says a lot.

The Bluebirds have more players who can hurt Swansea than they've had in previous years, with the likes of Callum O'Dowda and Callum Robinson proving to be dangerous threats.

Mark Hudson's men are coming into the match on the back of a poor run, whereas Swansea have won four of their last five; form tends to go out of the window in derby games but it also tells its own story.

At home backed by their own fans, Swansea should win this one.

Score prediction: 2-0

Glen Williams - Cardiff City correspondent

It has rarely been the case in my three-and-a-half years covering this club that I go into these games with a huge feeling of confidence surrounding Cardiff City's chances. Suffice to say, the Bluebirds' performances over the last few months have done little to persuade me they can come away with a derby win on Sunday.

Cardiff are slap-bang in the middle of a transitional period and, as such, they continue to take two steps forward and two steps back. It's tough to predict just what sort of Bluebirds performance we can expect this weekend, but on the balance of things, Swansea are a far safer bet.

The Swans are in a rich vein of form, both in the league and in terms of this derby fixture, fresh off the back of securing the first league double over their arch-rivals last season.

Mark Hudson badly needs a win after two defeats in a row and nothing will do more to get fans' spirits up off the floor than a win down at the Stadium.

And, to put a positive spin on it, some of the players who have been brought in give Cardiff a puncher's chance. Cedric Kipre at the back has been largely excellent, Callum O'Dowda has brought some consistency in the wide areas, Ryan Wintle is looking a class act and Callum Robinson looks like a proper goal threat.

All that being said, though, I just think Swansea are too strong at the minute. They are confident and have no trouble finding the back of the net - something Cardiff have struggled with this season.

Score prediction : 2-1

Tom Coleman - sports writer

I'd much, much rather be a Swansea City fan heading into this one. Defeat for Cardiff City is simply unthinkable after last season's humiliation.

I'm not massively convinced they're really any better now than they were with Steve Morison. Despite a positive start under interim boss Mark Hudson, you sense his hopes of landing the job on a permanent basis would likely be left hanging by a thread were they to slump to a third straight defeat on Sunday.

Additionally, it would potentially open up wider, more uncomfortable, questions over where exactly the club is heading at the moment.

Even before the red card, they were comprehensively outclassed by QPR on Wednesday night, and their blunted showing in the final third against Coventry City pointed to the same old problems up front.

Those bemoaning Cardiff's lack of passion in this fixture in recent years will perhaps be comforted by Hudson's past experiences. He knows exactly what it means to supporters, and if he can adequately crystallise that passion in the dressing room, there's every chance Cardiff might pull something out the bag. For many members of that Bluebirds squad, though, this will be their first taste of the derby, which might just make that task a little harder.

Meanwhile, the hammering at Burnley aside, Swansea look like they're finally starting to click under Russell Martin. Yes, losing Joel Piroe is a blow, but given we've probably not seen the best of him this season, it's by no means fatal to their plans. Jamie Paterson and Joe Allen too have been absent during a strong run of form, which shows there are still several players in that Swans side that can win games.

For me, all the momentum is with Swansea and all the pressure is on Cardiff - and that points to a home win.

Score prediction: 2-0

Ian Mitchelmore - Swansea City writer

Anything can happen in a derby, but everything points to a home win on Sunday. The Swans are in top form and will be brimming with confidence having come from behind to beat Reading on Tuesday night.

The absences of Jamie Paterson and Joel Piroe will be huge as far as Cardiff are concerned, but Russell Martin’s men are in far better shape now to cope with those losses. The extra day of rest could help the hosts, too.

Score prediction: 2-0


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