Preview | Cardiff City v Swansea City
The first South Wales derby of the 2020-21 season promises to be a mouthwatering contest between two sides in fine form.
Swansea City and Cardiff City meet for the 110th time at Cardiff City Stadium this afternoon for a derby that, sadly, will be like no other in the fixture’s 108-year history.
For there will be no supporters of either club present when the game starts at 12.30pm and -one thing both clubs can agree on - the occasion will be all the poorer for it.
The Swans head into the game having lost just one of their last six games, boasting the best defensive record in the Championship and sitting in the play-off spots.
Cardiff, meanwhile, have shaken off an inconsistent start to the season with a run of four wins on the bounce.
As far as the recent history goes, the Swans have the edge. They are undefeated in the last three derbies, winning two.
Look further back and they have lost just three of these fixtures since March 1997.
But, as the cliché and truism goes, form counts for nothing when it comes to derby day.
Swansea will give Ryan Bennett and Marc Guehi every chance to prove their fitness as they recover from hamstring and head injuries respectively.
Morgan Gibbs-White and George Byers remain sidelined with their foot and groin injuries.
Lee Tomlin is a long-term absentee for Cardiff, while Harry Wilson is a doubt after suffering an arm injury at Stoke in midweek,
Steve Cooper: “It will be different in terms of the game and atmosphere.
“They were electric atmospheres last season, as anyone who was there will tell you, so we can’t shy away from it, it is different.
“That’s why you cannot compare with previous seasons or previous games.
“But is a game that means an awful lot to supporters, it’s one we really want to win and one we want to really commit to and attack.
“It is for the supporters. I want them to see a team working hard and giving their best because football is so important to so many people.
“It will be a perfect chance to give a bit back and we will be committing to that.”
"You have to earn the right to have a standing in any division.
"We had to earn the right to look above you. We chased last year and got so close to achieving the play-off final.
"This year, albeit 12, 13 games in, we are chasing again and won four on a spin. We have got to keep winning games.
"You just see where a little bit of consistency can propel you to."
Remember the last time?
Swansea City picked up a point as the 109th South Wales derby finished goalless on an afternoon where both sides hit the woodwork in a hard-fought encounter back in January.
The Swans had been chasing the first league double in the 108-year history of the fixture, and the closest they came to breaking the deadlock was Bersant Celina’s curling first-half strike that cannoned out off the post.
The hosts hit the bar after the break as substitute Callum Paterson failed to get his header on target in the closing stages of the contest.
The result meant Steve Coper’s side ended the weekend seventh in the table, level on points with the final play-off spot.
0 – No side has ever completed the league double over the other in the 108-year history of the fixture.
3 – The Swans are unbeaten in the last three South Wales derbies, while both Steve Cooper and Neil Harris are yet to taste defeat on derby day
Today we welcome our virtual mascots, Harry Richards and Owain Lloyd-Jones.
Harry is aged eight, comes from Swansea and has three sisters, Amelia, Ivy and Alice. Harry plays football for Gower Galaxy and Swansea City, and his favourite player is Andre Ayew.
Owain is aged 12, from Powys and plays football for Welshpool Town. His favourite player is also Andre Ayew.