The Sky Blues travel to the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday to play Cardiff. Here’s everything you need to know about our opponents.
Name – Cardiff City
Founded – 1889
Stadium – Cardiff City Stadium (first opened 2009)
Capacity – 33,280
Nickname – The Bluebirds
Address – Cardiff City Stadium, Leckwith Road, Cardiff, CF11 8AZ
Pitch Size – 110 x 75 yards
Cardiff are currently 11th in the table, eight points away from the play-off places, and recently appointed Mick McCarthy as their new manager.
The Bluebirds top scorer is Kieffer Moore who has found the net on 11 occasions this season with Sheyi Ojo and Harry Wilson providing six and seven assists respectively.
The Welsh side are unbeaten under McCarthy and claimed their first league win since mid-December under the Irishman against Bristol City last weekend.
Mick McCarthy was appointed as Cardiff manager in January this year, replacing Neal Harris in the Cardiff City Stadium hotseat.
McCarthy began his managerial career with Millwall, initially acting as player-manager before taking up the reigns full-time ahead of the 1992/93 season.
He would spend four seasons with the capital club, reaching the Division One play-offs in 1993/94, before becoming Republic of Ireland manager in February 1996.
The 61-year-old led his country to the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Ireland’s last appearance at the finals, helping them reach the last 16 before resigning in November 2002.
He returned to the dugout with Sunderland in March 2003, but couldn’t prevent the club from suffering relegation from the Premier League before losing in the play-offs the following season.
McCarthy eventually guided Sunderland back into the Premier League by winning the Championship title in 2004/05, but struggled in the top-flight and was sacked in March 2006.
Later that same year, McCarthy was appointed Wolves manager and led the club into the play-offs in his first season in charge before winning the Championship title for the second time as a manager in 2008/09.
He would keep the club in the Premier League for the next two seasons before ending his near six-year stay in the West Midlands in February 2012.
The Irishman next took charge of Ipswich Town, arriving in November 2012, and kept the club in the second-tier before taking them into the play-offs for the first time in a decade in 2014/15, losing to bitter rivals Norwich City in the play-offs.
He ended his five-year stay with the Portman Road club in April 2018 and began his second spell as Ireland manager later that same year, leading his country for two years before resigning in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which delayed Euro 2020 after which his contract was due to expire, despite qualifying for the play-offs.
McCarthy had a brief spell in charge of Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia earlier this season, managing just eight games before being sacked at the beginning of the year.
With Cardiff, McCarthy has managed four matches recording two wins, two draws and zero defeats.
Last Six Games
Won – Rotherham 1-2 Cardiff (Sky Bet Championship)
Won – Bristol City 0-2 Cardiff (Sky Bet Championship)
Drew – Cardiff 1-1 Millwall (Sky Bet Championship)
Drew – Barnsley 2-2 Cardiff (Sky Bet Championship)
Lost – Cardiff 0-1 QPR (Sky Bet Championship)
Lost – Cardiff 1-2 Norwich (Sky Bet Championship)
Last Time We Met
The two sides met in the Sky Bet Championship earlier this season with City securing a 1-0 win against the Bluebirds at St Andrew’s.
The Sky Blues started brightly when Jordan Shipley’s close range effort was saved by Alex Smithies before Ben Sheaf’s cross from the right landed on the top of the net with the Cardiff goalkeeper at full stretch.
Ryan Giles had an effort saved by Smithies before the visitors had the ball in the back of the net with the goal rules out for a foul inside the penalty area.
City were once again denied by Smithies when Gus Hamer’s header went straight at the Bluebirds stopper before Tyler Walker pounced on a defensive mix-up and deftly lifted an effort over Smithies to put the Sky Blues ahead.
Despite a late injury to Marko Marosi, City held on to secure all three points and recorded their second clean sheet in as many matches.
Sky Blues Wins – 19
Draws – 12
Cardiff Wins – 21
Current Sky Blues goalkeeper Ben Wilson spent four years with the Bluebirds earlier in his career.
Wilson came through the youth ranks at Sunderland without ever making a first-team appearance for the club and was loaned out to Harrogate Town, Gateshead and Chesterfield during his time in the North East.
Brief spells with Cambridge United and Accrington Stanley would follow before signing for Cardiff in July 2014.
The goalkeeper made four appearances for the Bluebirds during his time with the club which included loan spells at AFC Wimbledon, Rochdale, Oldham Athletic and AFC Telford United.
He eventually departed the Cardiff City Stadium on a permanent basis, joining Bradford City in July 2018.
The 28-year-old made six appearances for the Bantams before signing for the Sky Blues the following season in May 2019.
Wilson provided backup to Sky Blues number one Marko Marosi as the club were promoted to the Championship last term featuring on seven occasions in cup competitions.
He made his league debut for the club as a late substitute in City’s win against Cardiff earlier this season and has since gone on to play 14 times in the league keeping five clean sheets.
Sky Blues Dave Bennett produced a man of the match performance as City lifted the FA Cup in 1987 having joined the club from Cardiff four years earlier.
Bennett began his career with Manchester City and spent three seasons with the Citizens helping them reach the FA Cup final in 1981 where they lost in a replay to Tottenham Hotspur.
He was sold to the Bluebirds in September 1981 and helped the club win promotion back to the Second Division during his two-year spell with the Welsh side, scoring 18 goals in 77 appearances.
Following his time in Welsh capital, Bennett joined the Sky Blues in July 1983 and would go on to make 172 appearances for the club, scoring 25 goals, over the next six seasons.
This includes his unforgettable contribution to City’s 1987 FA Cup final triumph, scoring the Sky Blues first equaliser before setting up Keith Houchen’s memorable header in what remains the club’s only FA Cup win to date, with Bennett earning himself a place in the club’s Hall of Fame.
He departed for Sheffield Wednesday in March 1989 and spent one season with the Owls before suffering separate broken leg injuries with Swindon Town and on loan at Shrewsbury Town which forced him to bring an end to his playing career.
James Linington will be the man in the middle on Saturday afternoon, taking charge of his 18th game of the 2020/21 season.
He last refereed the Sky Blues at the beginning of the year when City secured a 2-1 away win against Millwall at the Den.
This will be Linington’s 13th season as a Football League referee and he has officiated the Sky Blues on nine previous occasions, with City winning two, drawing two and losing five of those matches.
So far, Linington has awarded 36 yellow cards and two red cards across 17 matches in the Championship, League One, League Two and Carabao Cup.
He will be assisted by Matthew Jones and Daniel Leach with James Durkin acting as fourth official.