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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: WIGAN ATHLETIC V CARDIFF CITY

23 February 2015

Bluebirds head to the DW Stadium as Malky Mackay faces former club for the first time.

  • Mackay left the Cardiff City Stadium just over a year ago.
  • Bluebirds sit 17th in the Sky Bet Championship, seven points above the drop zone, eight without a win.
  • Latics were defeated in the reverse fixture as former loanee Nicky Maynard won the game for the hosts.

Latics host Cardiff City on Tuesday evening as the Sky Bet Championship enters its final 14 games.

The hosts go into the game nine points from safety after Friday’s 3-0 defeat to Charlton Athletic whilst the Bluebirds sit 17th, on an eight-game winless run.

Malky Mackay is going up against his former club for the first time since his departure in December 2013, and he’ll be hoping to build on Latics’ positive record against the Welsh outfit which has seen Cardiff win just once on 11 visits to Wigan.

Tickets are still available for the clash at the DW Stadium and can be purchased up until kick-off from the ticket office, for further details, click here.

FLASHBACK


WIGAN ATHLETIC 2 CARDIFF CITY 1
MONDAY 30 AUGUST 2004

Nathan Ellington and Jason Roberts provided two moments of inspiration for Latics in a 2-1 victory over Cardiff City which saw them maintain their unbeaten start to the 2004/05 campaign, and kept them top of the Championship on goal difference above Stoke City.

Manager Paul Jewell believed his side could have won the game in a much more comfortable fashion, with plenty of possession and chances in Latics’ favour throughout.

Ellington got the ball rolling early on when he was felled by Rhys Weston 16 minutes in, the forward duly stepping up to convert from the spot with his trademark casual demeanour.

Strike partner Jason Roberts doubled Latics’ lead just after the half hour mark, hitting Cardiff on the counter and bending the ball around a helpless Tony Warner for 2-0.

Alan Lee managed to make the final half an hour uncomfortable for Latics when he scored from the spot, but it would turn out to be a mere consolation as Jewell’s men held out for the win.

Future Latics midfielder Graham Kavanagh was on the losing side in this fixture, but would switch to the JJB later on in the season in March 2005.

CARDIFF CITY IN 2014/15 SO FAR

Coming off the back of relegation from the top-flight last time out, Cardiff City harboured hopes of a bounce back at the first time of asking as they entered the 2014-15 campaign with one of the strongest squads in the division.

Despite losing Gary Medel, Jordon Mutch and Steven Caulker in the summer, the Bluebirds kept themselves in good shape with the arrivals of defenders Sean Morrison and Bruno Ecuele Manga as well as midfielders Tom Adeyemi, Anthony Pilkington and Kagisho Dikgacoi and striker Adam le Fondre.

And the season couldn’t have got off to a better start for then manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as seven points were picked up from a possible nine in the opening fortnight of the campaign, including successes over Latics and Huddersfield Town.

However, Cardiff would lose three of their next four league games under the Norwegian and, in mid-September, he would be relieved of his duties before Scott Young and Danny Gabbidon took temporary charge.

With one win, two draws and two defeats, the caretaker pair would hand over the reins to current boss Russell Slade in October.

Slade won three of his first four games in charge and gave renewed hope of promotion in South Wales, only to go through a winless December which left Cardiff in 12th position and nine points off the play-off places.

The Bluebirds won their first Championship game in 2015 as Fulham were downed at the Cardiff City Stadium but their four following fixtures would end in defeat and Slade brought in reinforcements to try and reignite a promotion challenge.

Scott Malone, Alex Revell and Lee Peltier all arrived from Championship rivals whilst Stuart O’Keefe was signed from Crystal Palace before Everton due Conor McAleny and Matthew Kennedy signed for the Welsh outfit.

Seven players, including current Latic Kim Bo-kyung, John Brayford, Juan Cala and Mats Moller Daehli left to facilitate those arrivals and, since the close of the window, the Bluebirds have drawn all four of their fixtures.

An inability to close out fixtures has proved Cardiff’s downfall with their last two victories, both 1-0, coming after the Bluebirds had failed to secure wins in games in which they had scored two and three goals.

With talented wide players and arguably the division’s best target man in Kenwyne Jones, Cardiff are more than capable of causing problems. A special run between now and the end of the campaign would set up an exciting finish to the season but Slade will firstly want to guarantee safety and concentrate on pushing the Bluebirds up the table next time around.

MAN TO WATCH – KENWYNE JONES


The main threat in the Welsh outfit’s attack comes from powerful striker Kenwyne Jones.

The Trinidad and Tobago international has notched 14 goals in 39 games since joining on a swap deal from Stoke City in January 2014, with Peter Odemwingie moving in the opposite direction.

In July 2004, Jones got his big break in English football when he joined Southampton and he impressed whilst with the Saints, scoring 22 goals in three years on the south coast before signing for Sunderland for a reported £6million in August 2007.

A further 28 goals would follow in 100 appearances on Wearside, before Stoke paid £8million for his services three years later. 

In just under 130 appearances for the Potters, Jones, who has been capped 68 times by his country, scored 26 goals.

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