Premier League Preview: Cardiff City v Arsenal
By Football News
Cardiff City host Arsenal on Saturday in a fixture that holds a great deal of historical significance for the Welsh capital club.
The men from Wales secured the only FA Cup crown in their history against Arsenal in 1927, but their fortunes against the London club have been pretty dismal since.
Two wins in the subsequent 86 years do not make pleasant reading for Malky Mackay, and he will be keen to set the record straight this weekend.
Arsenal have been flying in the Premier League this season and currently sit top, four points clear of closest rivals Liverpool and Chelsea.
But Cardiff have already claimed two notable scalps on home soil this term, picking up a 3-2 victory over Manchester City and earning a late draw against Manchester United last Sunday.
The tie also sees one of the top flight's most in-form men, Aaron Ramsey, return to his old stomping ground. The 22-year-old scored two goals in 22 appearances for Cardiff before joining Arsenal in 2008.
The midfielder returned to his first club for a loan spell in 2011 as he recovered from a broken leg, but has since established himself as a first-team regular under Arsene Wenger.
And Ramsey fired a warning to his former employers that Arsenal would not be taking their foot off the gas.
"We know our form after Christmas has been second to none in the last few seasons," he said. "So we are totally focused on putting ourselves in a position where we are there or thereabouts, because we are confident we can kick on in the new year.
“We are hungry to win trophies and win games. That is no different this season to any other, but in the past we’ve got off to bad starts and had to play catch up.”
Arsenal are not expected to have any fresh injury concerns for the trip to Wales, with Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Abou Diaby and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (both knee) still sidelined, while Cardiff could give a starting berth to Andreas Cornelius, who played the last four minutes of last week's draw against Manchester United after recovering from an ankle problem.