The Local Lowdown: Cardiff City

2023-24/Matchdays/20231202 Southampton vs Cardiff City/MW_Southampton_Cardiff_078_cthrqa

We asked opposition expert Glen Williams, Cardiff City correspondent for Wales Online, to preview Saturday's meeting with Southampton from the home team’s point of view...

Cardiff find themselves safely in mid-table with three games to go. How would you rate their season?

It's been a relatively positive season, considering Cardiff have spent the last two seasons battling relegation. There have been high points and low points throughout, but, ultimately, if you had offered an average Cardiff fan in July the opportunity to see their team finish mid-table this season, they'd have taken it, I suspect.

Cardiff beat Ipswich in dramatic fashion at the start of March, but have lost their two subsequent home games to Sunderland and Hull. How have they looked in recent weeks?

That's like a little microcosm of their season as a whole, really. They have been so inconsistent. They can produce some really good football, but perhaps too rarely. They can go on long winless stretches, then produce a run of good results seemingly out of nowhere. So, they've been patchy in recent weeks, it's fair to say.

Which players have impressed this season?

Last year's Player of the Season, Perry Ng, and the centre-back duo Dimitrios Goutas and Nat Phillips have been the consistent performers. At the other end of the pitch, Karlan Grant has been a 7/10 most weeks, without maybe producing as many goal-contributing acts as we might have expected when he signed.

How is the atmosphere at the Cardiff City Stadium?

It's a difficult one just by nature of the season and the fact Cardiff have nothing to play for. When the Bluebirds were doing well, the stadium was rocking, when they endured a rotten run either side of Christmas – not so much. The football has at times been tough to watch, too, which has spilled into the terraces. But by and large it's a positive atmosphere.

What sort of reception awaits Russell Martin?

I'm not too sure it'll be the warmest! He inflicted four derby wins over Cardiff during the four matches he was in charge of Swansea, which is massively to his credit – but not remembered too fondly in this corner of Wales, as you can imagine!

How do you see the game going on Saturday?

Southampton are going for it and looking good. Cardiff have bags of injuries and nothing to play for. I do see a Saints win.

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