Welcome to IntoTheTopCorner’s team-by-team preview to the new Premier League season. Here we look at Cardiff City’s vital stats, their summer transfers and analyse their chances.
Cardiff City v Athletic Club de Bilbao – Pre Season Friendly
Manager: Malky Mackay.
Captain: Mark Hudson.
Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium (26,828).
Last season: Promoted as Championship Winners.
Leading scorer (CH): Aaron Gunnarson (8).
In: John Brayford (Derby County, £1.5m), Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur, £8m), Andreas Cornelius (FC Copenhagen, £7.6m), Gary Mendel (Sevilla, £11.2m), Simon Moore (Brentford, Free).
Out: Jesse Darko (AO Episkopi, Free), Heidar Helguson (Released), Nat Jarvis (Released), Elliot Parish (Bristol City, Free), Stephen McPahil (Released), Ben Nugent (Brentford, Loan).
Andreas Cornelius – Spending a big chuck of money and breaking your transfer record on a striker who is just 20 years old, with just one full season in Denmark behind him, is highly questionable, but the 6 feet 4 inch striker could have huge things ahead of him and could well be a major coup for the Bluebirds.
He helped FC Copenhagen win the Danish league by firing in 18 goals in 34 games last season, but he will need to rapidly adjust to English football and impose himself at such a young age. He undoubtedly had plenty of talent in him if the rest of the side gives him the platform to show his goal-scoring form.
Team (4-4-1-1): David Marshall – John Brayford, Steven Caulker, Mark Hudson, Andrew Taylor – Craig Noone, Gary Medel, Aaron Gunnarsson, Craig Bellamy – Kim Bo-Kyung – Andreas Cornelius.
17 Aug – West Ham United (A)
25 Aug – Manchester City (H)
31 Aug – Everton (H)
14 Sep – Hull City (A)
21 Sep – Tottenham Hotspur (H)
Cardiff City did a fine job last year, but they were the example of a good Championship team. As Reading showed last season, that doesn’t do too many favours in the Premier League.
Their transfer activity has been really good, and Mackay’s reluctance to dip into the transfer market for anything below top class players could actually help the Bluebirds.
The additions of Andreas Cornelius, Steven Caulker and Gary Medel have been brilliant, but familiarity could be their best friend and help them to survive in the top flight.
I am going for them to fight relegation and survive in the Premier League for at least another season.