Preview | Cardiff City v Swansea City
Swansea City will look to make South Wales derby history when they face Cardiff City this afternoon (12pm) with the chance to complete the fixture’s first league double.
Remarkably, in the derby’s 108-year and 108-game history no side has successfully won home and away in the same league season.
But the Swans 1-0 victory at the Liberty back in October, courtesy of Ben Wilmot’s header, means they have the chance to be the first side to accomplish the feat.
Just to underline how rare an opportunity this is; Steve Cooper’s team will be just the 21st to even enter the second derby of a season with the double still available to be claimed.
The head coach and his players have made no secret of the motivation provided by the chance to write their names indelibly into the annals of Welsh football’s fiercest rivalry.
But, as history proves, it will be no easy task.
While Cardiff may be four points and six places behind the Swans in the table, they have lost just once at home in the league so far this term.
And both sides will know how important a positive result could prove in teeing them up for the final stages of a fiendishly tight Championship season with play-off spots at stake.
Rhian Brewster and Marc Guehi are in line to make their Swansea City debut having completed their loan signings from Liverpool and Chelsea respectively earlier this week.
Mike van der Hoorn is a doubt as he continues to recover from the knee injury he suffered a recurrence of against Charlton.
Joe Rodon and Jordon Garrick, meanwhile, are nearing returns from their ankle and hamstring injuries but are not in contention for this weekend.
Steve Cooper: “We are aware that winning two games in a season has never been done, but it just adds to the motivation.
“It allows us to be as motivated as we would be anyway, but you store it in your head and you make sure it drives you to the places you need to go to.
“The closer you get to the game you have to stay focused on what it takes to win the football match, and that is a performance, a mentality and a togetherness to get over the line.
“We know this is a game that matters big time. That makes us motivated, focused and enthusiastic."
Neil Harris: "I’m fully aware of Swansea’s capabilities and they are possession-based team who keep the ball.
"I watched the derby when I took over and have watched it again this week. It lacked quality on times but we came out on the wrong side of the result and it’s about putting that right this weekend.
"We need to create a red-hot atmosphere and the players need to perform as well. It sets itself up for a good occasion."
Remember the last time?
Former Swan loanee Steven Caulker scored the only goal as Cardiff City won the first Welsh derby in the Premier League.
Caulker rose highest to head a Craig Bellamy corner into the bottom corner after 62 minutes to earn the hosts the points at The Cardiff City Stadium.
To end a miserable day for the Swans, keeper Michel Vorm was dismissed in added-on time after sub Fraizer Campbell beat him to a clearance upfield, with Angel Rangel forced to take the Dutchman’s place between the sticks with the visitors having used their allotted three substitutes.
In a game of two halves, the Swans enjoyed the better of the first 45 minutes, with Michu getting the best chance but he could only fire his volley wide.
But Cardiff came out of the blocks in the second half, and Caulker's goal proved the difference.
1 – Swansea City can become the first side to complete a league double in the 108-year history of the South Wales derby.
10 – The Swans have won 10 of the last 20 derbies, with five draws and five defeats.