Cardiff vs Swansea predictions: Bluebirds can end Swans' derby rule
Cardiff host fellow Championship strugglers Swansea in the first South Wales derby of the season at the unusually late kick-off time of 7.45pm on Saturday.
A passionate 25,000 crowd is expected for the clash between these rivals that currently occupy 19th and 22nd places in the table after stuttering starts.
The Swans have been the dominant force in the region over the last two seasons, recording a historic 'double double' over the Bluebirds in league encounters.
But, despite winning only one of their opening five games and relinquishing points in the dying minutes of three matches, there appears to be more optimism in the home camp.
Cardiff are optimistic about Aaron Ramsey's readiness to feature, despite Wales boss Robert Page substituting the midfielder early in the second half of their Euro 2024 qualifier with Latvia on Monday.
There is a possibility of Ike Ugbo making a return to the starting line-up in place of Ollie Tanner on the right flank, though the rest of the team may remain unchanged.
As for Swansea, manager Michael Duff faces the ticklish decision of how many changes to make in the quest to discover a winning combination.
Joe Allen might earn a recall, potentially replacing Oliver Cooper, to create a five-man midfield, but the ultimate choice will hinge on Duff's strategic approach to the match.
Harrison Ashby is expected to maintain his position as the right wing-back, while Harry Darling could receive the nod in the Swans' back three
The two teams have managed just one win between them in the Championship this season — Cardiff's 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in late August.
Both teams have scored in all five of Cardiff's league games and also in each of Swansea's Championship contests
The Swans have won on their last three visits to the Cardiff City Stadium, with the hosts' last home success against them coming back in 2013 when they were both Premier League clubs.
While Cardiff's results so far this season are unimpressive, their performances under Erol Bulut have been encouraging.
A team that struggled to score goals in recent seasons now look much more threatening at the top end of the pitch, although they still have a few creases to iron out in defence.
There have been few positives to take from Swansea's start to life under Michael Duff, whose suggestion that he would take promotion over beating Cardiff twice a season did not go down well with the club's fanbase.
Duff's attempt to provide perspective and take pressure off his players could backfire if Cardiff consequently appear more up for the game on Saturday night.
Swansea also currently appear to be struggling to handle the transition from former boss Russell Martin's patient style of play to Duff's footballing ethos.
Both teams' records suggest there will be goals at both ends in this delicately-poised derby, but the Bluebirds' better-functioning attack just gives them the edge.
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