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Cardiff plan to get physical as Manchester City roll into town

Aug 25, 2013, 9:14 AM EDT

West Ham United v Cardiff City - Premier League Getty Images

Cardiff City’s first-ever home game in the Premier League on Sunday (11am ET, watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra) will be a feisty affair.

Manchester City’s players have been warned.

The newly promoted Welsh team are planning to make it an uncomfortable afternoon for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, as City’s big names of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and others come to the Cardiff City Stadium.

Cardiff’s 21-year-old defender Steven Caulker believes his teammates will be fired up from the start.

“The key is not to pay them too much respect. We have to get in their faces and use the fact that we are at home and the passion of supporters in our favor,” Caulker said. “We must not lay off them because they have players who will cause us massive problems. Our job is to stand up ready for the fight – and a good start will be massive.”

(MORE: West Ham United 2-0 Cardiff City; Cole and Nolan sink Bluebirds)

Malky Mackay’s men didn’t get their first ever PL campaign off to a good start last weekend, as they lost 2-0 to West Ham at Upton Park and barely threatened going forward. However defensive solidity is Mackay’s forte and the Bluebirds will have to be at their best at the back to keep out Man City’s abundance of attacking panache.

Caulker is certainly up for the battle.

“Today, against Manchester City, it’s a big day for everybody,” Caulker said. “Playing against the likes of Aguero and Manchester City’s other stars always gets the adrenalin going. Cardiff City have the chance this afternoon to challenge some of the best players in the world. It’s a dream come true for all of us.”

The $10 million summer capture from Tottenham will marshal the defense alongside 6 foot 4 giant Ben Turner. Cardiff’s entire squad have battled it out in England’s second-tier for most of their careers and their passionate fans down by the River Taff will aim to make it an intimidating atmosphere when the Citizen’s star names arrive in South Wales. Caulker is relishing the occasion.

“The home support from a capacity attendance will be amazing and our job is to give City a tough match.”

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