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Premier League Preview: Cardiff City

Aug 6, 2013, 12:10 PM EDT


Each day from now until the beginning of the Premier League season, we will preview two teams from England’s top flight. You can view them all here at PST Preview central. Don’t forget, the 2013-14 PL season begins on August 17th, and for the first-time ever you can watch every game live on NBC Sports.

For the first time in the club’s history, Cardiff City will compete in the Premier League after winning the 2012-2013 Football League Championship title. For the Bluebirds, this season will mark the club’s first taste of top-flight football in 51 years and they’ll look to one of the brightest young managers in the game, Malkay Mackay, to follow the successful path tread by fellow Welsh side and mortal enemy, Swansea City.

With Mackay’s vibrant, attractive style of football and the financial backing of their billionaire Malaysian owner, Vincent Tan, Cardiff City will seek to avoid the jaws of relegation that snap up so many Premier League newcomers.

Transfers In: GK Simon Moore (Brentford); D Steven Caulker (Tottenham); D John Brayford (Derby County); F Andreas Cornelius (FC Copenhagen)

Transfers Out: GK Elliot Parish (Bristol City); D Ben Nugent (Brentford, loan); M Stephen McPhail (free agent); F Nathaniel Jarvis (free agent); F Heidar Helguson (free agent); F Jesse Darko (AO Episkopi Rethymno, Greece)

Key Player: If there is one spot on the field where Cardiff may lack bite, it’s in the box. Enter 20-year-old Danish international Andreas Cornelius (pictured).

source: Getty ImagesThe striker signed with Cardiff in July 2013 for a then club record transfer fee of $12.3 million (£8m). He arrives in South Wales after just one season of first team football, but what a season it was for the youngster, scoring 18 goals and notching five assists in 32 Danish Superliga matches with FC Copenhagen.

His lack of experience, however, shouldn’t come as a worry to Bluebirds supporters as Cornelius gained valuable experience playing in six Champions League qualification matches and four Europa League matches last season.

Cornelius’ strength and power should further enable him to compete well in the Premier League. The 6’4″ striker has been known to bully defenders, possesses strong aerial capabilities and is good at using his body to hold up play. On the ground he’s skilled as well, with a smooth touch, an eye for the cheeky pass and a strong left foot.

Helping Cornelius adapt to life in England’s top flight will be Craig Bellamy, the heart and soul of this Cardiff side. The Cardiff-born striker has plenty of Premier League experience – with spells at Liverpool, Manchester City, West Ham United, Blackburn and Newcastle – and at 34 years old still terrorizesdefenses with gut-busting runs, searing pace and a fiercely competitive spirit.

If Cardiff is to stay up it will be the strike partnership of Cornelius and Bellamy that paves the way.

Manager: Malky Mackay arrived at Cardiff City in June 2011 after spending the first two years of his managerial career with Watford, where the five time capped Scottish international ended his playing career.

During his first season at the helm, Mackay led Cardiff City to Championship Play-Offs and the Carling Cup Final, leading many to consider him one of the best up-and-coming managers in the game. The following season, Mackay justified the praise, guiding the Bluebirds to first place in The Championship, beating out 2nd placed Hull City by eight points.

OutlookCardiff City will find themselves in a fight to stay in the top flight, although of the three promoted sides, the Bluebirds are the most likely to succeed. Their notably strong defense has been bolstered by the recent acquisition of English international Steven Caulker, who will look to prove himself after being used sparingly during his four year stint atTottenham Hotspur. With Caulker and captain Mark Hudson leading the back line, the experience of Peter Whittingham in midfield, the play-making abilities of Craig Noone and the strike-partnership of Cornelius and Bellamy, Cardiff City have the tools to make their first Premier League campaign a successful one.

MORE: Read all the Premier League previews for each team here

  1. mkgcle - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Pretty sure “dearth” is the opposite of what you were going for there.

    • ethancrowley - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      second time I’ve seen this guy use “dearth” wrongly in the last month. Buy a dictionary.

  2. quizguy66 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    What’s up with the crazy dragon logo if they are the bluebirds (yeah I see the bluebird below). Genuinely curious about the history of that crest.

    • exileddragon - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:28 PM

      Not a crazy Dragon its the Welsh Dragon represented on the Welsh Flag. Cardiff used to play in Blue but were rebranded with new colours by the present Chairman. Much to the anger of many supporters.

      Their is still a feeling that the Club should revert back to its traditional Blue strip. But at present with the investment from the Chairman many will accept the change to red.

      The Badge has also changed….. google Cardiff City its history you will find out more.

  3. dalecooperscoffee - Aug 6, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Pretty sure the dragon is to do with being a welsh club.

  4. exileddragon - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    Your quite correct….. the Badge was change last season to incorporate the Welsh Dragon along with the club colours which were changed to Red. Cardiff City were traditionally in a blue strip (hence the “Bluebirds”).

    The Dragon is the symbol of Wales and represented on its Flag.

    The flag of Wales (Welsh: Baner Cymru or Y Ddraig Goch, meaning “The Red Dragon”) consists of a red dragon passant on a green and white field. As with many heraldic charges, the exact representation of the dragon is not standardised and many renderings exist.

    The flag incorporates the Red Dragon of Cadwaladr, King of Gwynedd, along with the Tudor colours of green and white. It was used by Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 after which it was carried in state to St Paul’s Cathedral. The red dragon was then included as a supporter of the Tudor royal arms to signify their Welsh descent. It was officially recognised as the Welsh national flag in 1959.

    • jrbdmb - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:53 PM

      And I would guess that the red dragon and red kit are more pleasing to the chairman and potential fans in Malaysia than the traditional bluebird logo and blue kit?

      • exileddragon - Aug 7, 2013 at 11:01 PM

        Quite true and that seems to be his way of thinking…. however the potential revenue streams even in the Asian market for Cardiff who have only just achieved the EPL (English Premier League) after an absence of something like 53 years are as yet to be realised. Tradition again falls to the power of the ££££s. (or as it would be in your case the dollar).

        Also bear in mind there are only 3 Welsh clubs in the English League (Cardiff City, Swansea City both now in the premiership (a bitter rivalry exists and there matches are going to be one of the highlights of this years Premiership matches, they are our biggest and nearest rivals being only 28 miles away. There is no love lost between Cardiff and the Jacks) there is also Newport County who returned to the bottom league last season on promotion from the conference league.

        Welsh football is certainly going through a purple patch right now. Long may it continue.

        There are often disputes about Welsh Clubs actually being in the English leagues.

  5. thememyselfandiguy - Aug 7, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    and know the dicuss the team logos…wow… when the teams are that bad i guess that is what you do.

  6. sionhancock - Aug 7, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Come on Cardiff… we can stay up and do well this season! \o/\o/\o/
    And as for you doughnuts commenting about the badge.. just Google things before you comment it isn’t hard is it really?! damn yanks, you have allot to learn about ”Football”

    • exileddragon - Aug 7, 2013 at 11:09 PM

      The fact that they have made the effort to post something shows some interest. Would think instead of calling someone a doughnut you might try to explain something and give them a feeling of what the “Bluebirds” and the colour blue means to Cardiff supporters.

      Am sure you might have a lot to learn about their national sports. Come on man being polite costs nothing!!

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