Swansea vs Cardiff | Sunday 17th October 2021, 12:00 | Sky Sports
The South Wales derby is normally a game that catches the attention of almost all football fans but this season it feels a little different. Swansea are struggling to adopt to new manager Russell Martins style whilst Mick McCarthy is under serious pressure after five consecutive defeats, both sides are struggling to score and sit nearer the bottom than the top.
Between them they have won just three games from a total of 22 played whilst the Swans have seen an average of just one match goal per home game, the Bluebirds have seen an average of 3.20 match goals on the road, although this has mainly been due to the number of goals they have conceded.
I have both sides near the foot of the major metrics tables which would suggest you may want to go and walk the dog on Sunday lunchtime than stay in and watch these two sides play.
I wouldn’t be surprised if McCarthy knows defeat here might see him packing his bags and heading back up to Yorkshire, so he will be even more pragmatic than usual and go again with four or five centre backs and try to see the game out.
Mick has always said on away games he would take a point and not get on the coach, he may well need to get on the team bus here, but he would happily take a point to avoid another defeat.
I have read reports that the Swans are improving but I don’t see that. Their last outing was against Derby, and they lost the xG, deservedly beaten by Fulham and struggled to beat Huddersfield. Whist Cardiff were very unlucky to lose against Reading, winning the xG 1.53 vs 0.2 and winning the shot count 21 vs 2. In their previous match they lost 4-0 to WBA with the Baggies generating just 0.95.
I am not going to tell you all that Cardiff have been unfortunate to lose five on the spin, but maybe some of those performances haven’t been quite as bad as the results suggest.
I expect the Swans to dominate possession here with Cardiff happy to sit back which again won’t make it a great game to watch but I reckon we will see Cardiff happy to make it a battle and therefore I am happy to look at the card angle.
Cardiff are averaging 1.91 cards per game and the Swans are seeing their opponents collect 2.55 so the Bluebirds to collect at least two cards seems a decent place to start. Unfortunately, the odds aren’t acceptable, so I am going to add in the hosts to collect a card, which they have done so in nine of their 11 games this season.
The referee is James Linington who has quite the record in the championship this season with an average of 4.71 cards. He has also given each side at least one card in all seven matches, which bodes well. In order to boast the odds to even money I am going to add in under four goals.
As I mentioned earlier on the Swansea have seen just five goals at home this season, whilst local derby are normally tight affairs with so much at stake.
I have seen Flynn Downes play at lot at Ipswich and there is no doubt he is a very good player, but he doesn’t often lose his head in the big games, and I can see that happening here. He is shorter than 3/1 for a card. He has been booked once in his eight games and commits 1.4 fouls per game.
I would imagine that McCarthy will be well aware of Downes’ ability to lose his temper from their time at Ipswich and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Cardiff players wind him and there is no player better to do so than Marlon Pack.
Pack has been booked three times this season and sits 11th in the whole league for most fouls committed per game. I am almost tempted to sit and watch the game to watch Pack and Downes go at each other here. Both players to be booked can be taken at 12/1 on Bet365 bet builder and that looks another good angle to me.
The score being 0-0 wouldn’t surprise me to be honest. I mentioned earlier about the goals in Swansea home games and the xG backs this up with just 1.42 per match and Cardiff are no better in front of goals with just one goals in their last five games, so I am happy to back no goalscorer at 13/2 with Bet365.