Meet the opposition | Cardiff City

31st March
First team
Cardiff City

As Swansea City get set to take on Cardiff City in the South Wales derby, we take a closer look at the Bluebirds.

What’s their story?

Initially founded as Riverside AFC in 1899, they changed their name to Cardiff City nine years later. In 1920 they joined the Football League.

Across their 123-year history they have spent 17 years in the top tier, mostly during the 1920s and 50s, and their highest position came in the 1923-24 season when they finished as runners-up.

They have spent two seasons in the Premier League but on both occasions suffered an immediate return to the Championship – the most recent of these coming at the end of the 2018-19 season.

They have reached the FA Cup final three times in their history winning the trophy once in 1927; they are the only non-English team to have lifted the trophy.

Cardiff most recently made an appearance in the 2008 final but were beaten by Portsmouth. Four years later, they reached the final of the Football League Cup, but were defeated by Liverpool.

How’s their form?

Sory Kaba

Improving. Cardiff had gone 14 games without a win in all competitions and had fallen perilously close to the relegation zone.

But they have taken three wins and a draw from their last six games and they are three points above the bottom three with a game in hand.

Who’s the gaffer?

Sabri Lamouchi

Sabri Lamouchi. The Frenchman took over at Cardiff City Stadium following Mark Hudson’s departure in January.

He won 12 caps for France during his playing career, making the squad for Euro 96 but being cut from the final squad for Les Bleus’ World Cup success two years later.

The midfielder featured for the likes of Auxerre, Monaco, Parma, Inter Milan and Marseille during a 19-year playing career, before moving into management in 2012, when he took over as Ivory Coast boss.

He guided them to the 2014 World Cup, but left his post following their group-stage exit.

He moved on to Qatari club El Jaish, but returned to Europe with Rennes in 2017, and he went on to lead them to fifth place and Europa League qualification in Ligue 1.

He left them in December 2018, before sealing his move to English football with Nottingham Forest.

Lamouchi had them on track for a play-off spot in 2020, but they were denied by the Swans in dramatic fashion on the last day of the season.

He left the City Ground later that year and, following a nine-month stint with Qatari club Al-Duhail, he joined the Bluebirds.

Who’s the captain?

Joe Ralls

Joe Ralls. After an ACL injury in early February ruled club captain Sean Morrison out for the remainder of the 2021-22 season, Ralls was handed the armband and he has remained as club captain this term.

The academy graduate had a breakthrough season in 2011-12, scoring a 30-yard half volley after coming off the bench for his league debut against Hull City.

After time on loan to develop, the midfielder returned to become a key figure within the Cardiff side.

He has made more than 300 appearances for them over the past decade and is an industrious, bustling presence in midfield, while possessing quality in the final third and at set-pieces.

Who are the key men?

Jaden Philogene

Callum Robinson leads the way for Cardiff when it comes to goals and assists, with seven and six to his name respectively, but he will miss this weekend’s game through injury.

Loanee Jaden Philogene has scored four goals this season including a recent important strike in the Severnside derby victory over Bristol City.

Republic of Ireland international Callum O’Dowda has three goals and three assists under his belt in his first season at the club, and his experience had been an important asset in the fight to beat the drop.

At the back Mark McGuinness has impressed since being recalled from his loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday and has been a regular under Lamouchi.