Cardiff City can boost their Premier League survival hopes against Stoke City by recording back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Victory over Southampton last weekend ended a five-game winless run for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, and moved them to within three points of safety.
They host an in-form Stoke side this Saturday, though, with the Midlands outfit having lost just one of their last seven top-flight matches to move them into the comfort of mid-table.
However, five of Cardiff’s seven top-flight victories this term have come at home, while Stoke have won just twice away all season.
And Solskjaer, who has overseen three Premier League wins since replacing Malky Mackay, remains confident Cardiff can avoid relegation back to the Championship at the first time of asking – and has called on his players to adopt a similar mindset.
“Your desire to succeed must be bigger than the fear of failure,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “And success for us is to stay in the Premier League. We’ve still got that chance.”
Solskjaer’s opposite number Mark Hughes, meanwhile, has put Stoke on the path towards their best-ever Premier League finish.
Tony Pulis led the club to 11th in 2009-10, but 10th-placed Stoke would tighten their grip on a top-half finish this time around with a win in the Welsh capital.
“We can’t allow them (Cardiff) to gain a foothold on the game because if they do that then we will be under pressure,” said Hughes on Thursday.
“We want to assert ourselves on them and try to take the game away from them. We are playing well and are picking up points so it is a fixture we are all looking forward to.”
Hughes has no new injury worries, with Oussama Assaidi (knee) unlikely to be risked.
Charlie Adam is expected to feature despite a broken nose, but long-term absentees Matthew Etherington (back) and Robert Huth (knee) are still out.
Cardiff will be without Craig Noone (abdominal injury) and Mark Hudson (hamstring), while Kenwyne Jones (kidney), Ben Turner and Declan John (both knocks) are doubtful.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!