Opposition Focus: Cardiff City

Craven Cottage, Saturday 27th April, 3pm


21/04/19 – Cardiff City 0-2 Liverpool
16/04/19 – Brighton 0-2 Cardiff City
13/04/19 – Burnley 2-0 Cardiff City
03/04/19 – Man City 0-2 Cardiff City
31/03/19 – Cardiff City 1-2 Chelsea


Cardiff have a not entirely undeserved reputation for favouring long balls and playing in an unstylish manner since the appointment of Neil Warnock. Using variations of a 4-4-1-1/4-2-3-1, Cardiff have based their team on a physical and strong defensive section of the pitch, supplemented with industrious players further forward. The midfield is comprised of overlooked skilful operators such as on-loan Real Betis midfielder Victor Camarasa and their wide players Hoilett and Mendez-Laing have caused problems to a number of defences this season. Although their tactical sophistication may be limited, Cardiff have got the absolute most from the available resources and regardless of whether they avoid relegation, have given absolutely everything to try and achieve just that. As the game is nowhere near as significant for Fulham as it is for our visitors – the intensity with which Scott Parker instils in the players will be very significant.

Battle to Watch

Mitrović vs Morrison: People can derive their enjoyment from football in a variety of ways but watching two players battle physically in a direct confrontation for 90 minutes is always something to behold. Mitrovic and Morrison will face off on Saturday knowing that whoever gains supremacy in this duel will go a long way in determining the outcome of the match. Mitro has grown in performances throughout recent games and will be desperate to score a first goal at the Cottage since January.

Danger Man

Reliable in the Championship but in and out of the line-up so far this season, Nathaniel Mendez Laing has shown terrific form over the last few games particularly with a wonder goal in Cardiff’s last away game against Brighton. His trickery and pace from the flanks has the potential to cause issues for the Fulham defence despite some admittedly encouraging performances against Everton and Bournemouth.

Last 5 Meetings

20/10/18 – Cardiff City 4-2 Fulham (PL)
26/12/17 – Cardiff City 2-4 Fulham (C’ship)
09/09/17 – Fulham 1-1 Cardiff City (C’ship)
25/02/17 – Cardiff City 2-2 Fulham (C’ship)
08/01/17 – Cardiff City 1-2 Fulham (FA Cup)


Fulham wins 26
Draws 12
Cardiff City wins 25

Stats & Facts

  • Fulham have lost just one of the last eight meetings with Cardiff in all competitions, 4-2 at the Cardiff City Stadium in the most recent meeting back in October.
  • It means Cardiff have won all three Premier League meetings between the clubs, having also completed a league double over Fulham during the 2013-14 campaign. Both teams would end that season relegated.
  • Both sides have scored in each of the last eight meetings in all competitions, a total of 30 goals (Fulham 16, Cardiff 14).
  • Three of the last four meetings at Craven Cottage have ended in score draws.
  • Fulham have not kept a clean sheet in ten home games against Cardiff since a 2-0 Division Three win at Craven Cottage in March 1989 when John Marshall and Justin Skinner were on target.
  • Ryan Sessegnon has scored a single goal in all five of his career appearances versus Cardiff. Those five goals are his most against any single club.
  • Fulham have won their last two Premier League games. The Whites have not won three successive Premier League matches since February – March 2012 when they defeated Stoke, QPR and Wolves.

Players in Common

Bobby Brown, Richard Carpenter, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Jeff Eckhardt, Neil Etheridge, Kerim Frei, Julian Gray, Heidar Helguson, Mark Hudson, Junichi Inamoto, Eddie Johnson, Peter Kitchen, Joe Lewis, Scott Malone, Ross McCormack, Brian McDermott, Chris Pike, Jazz Richards, Kieran Richardson, David Roberts, Wayne Routledge, Mark Walton, Tony Warner, Paul Went.

Magic Moment

Back in August 2016, an unknown kid became the youngest ever goalscorer in both the Championship and more importantly Fulham’s 137-year history, at the age of 16 years and 94 days. Ryan Sessegnon had only been on the pitch 2 minutes after replacing the injured Floyd Ayite and tucked away the games opening goal just before half time to break Fulham’s very fresh record set by Dennis Adeniran against Leyton Orient in the League Cup, just 12 days earlier!

The match ended 2-2 and Sess has since gone on to score in every match he has  played against Cardiff up to this point. Bring your boots Saturday Ryan!

Opposition View (@NinianOpinion)

Have you seen Fulham as a temporary rival because of our promotion race last season? Furthermore, were you happy to see us fall flat on our face after spending so much money?

More so last season than this one. I still can’t believe how close Fulham came to catching City and that you lot dropped points at Birmingham of all days. There was a rivalry last year I think, not only because of the unbeaten run you went on but because of the contrasting styles of play – it was billed as the good guys v Warnock’s thugs – and also due to the thumping you give us at home. But in the Premier League, once Cardiff won the reverse fixture and Ranieri was subsequently appointed, it was pretty obvious that Fulham weren’t going to trouble us too much on the relegation front.

Fulham’s spending didn’t really influence how I felt about their side. At the end of the day, if you’ve got the money then spend it. It doesn’t always work out, as we’ve seen, but it’s better to go for it than hold back for no reason. If I could give Cardiff £100m to have a good crack at this league, I would every day.

Did you expect to still be in with a shout of staying up at this stage of the season?

Honestly, yes. Last season was a prime example of how much heart this Cardiff side has and I knew Warnock wouldn’t let them go down with a whimper. I also thought the Premier League wasn’t saturated with quality outside of the top six and knew that there would be quite a few sides – Huddersfield, Brighton, Newcastle, Burnley etc – that would with the danger that we could maybe pip to safety.

It’s clearly a two horse race for survival now between Brighton & yourselves. How do you see the table finishing points wise between the two clubs?

I think Brighton will get a point against Newcastle but then lose at Arsenal and to Manchester City. City will draw at Craven Cottage, win against Palace and finish with a draw up at Old Trafford. City to stay up on 36 points with Brighton relegated on 35. We can dream!

Who’s been your player of the season. Equally, who’s been the biggest disappointment in your squad if any?

Player of the season is a toss-up between Neil Etheridge who has kept us in so many games with point-blank saves and Victor Camarasa who has popped up with some crucial goals as well as being involved in most of the good attacks we’ve had moments. Honourable mentions for Bruno Manga, Sol Bamba and Harry Arter.

The biggest disappointment is probably Josh Murphy. Only because he started so well but has faded massively as the season has progressed. A typical winger, he needs confidence and once he goes a few matches in a row without doing much, he shies away from showing for the ball and taking a man on which only exacerbates the problem.

How do you see the game panning out?

A decent game of football. Scott Parker and the confirmation of relegation has brought a freedom to Fulham making an already good footballing side play even better. I think you’ll go 1-0 up but a dogged Cardiff go on to get a goal and thus a point.

Score Prediction: 1-1 (Sessegnon, Niasse)

Predicted line up: Etheridge; Bennett, Manga, Morrison, Peltier; Ralls, Gunnarsson, Camarasa; Hoilett, Mendez-Laing; Niasse.

Thank you to Cardiff City supporter, Nathan from ‘Ninian Opinion’ for answering our questions.

Match Prediction

When the fixture list came out at the start of the season we all assumed this game would have massive significance for the relegation battle and turns out we were right. While we couldn’t conjure any sort of realistic chance of survival, Cardiff come into this game still with a possibility of retaining their Premier League status. They will be desperate to win this game given more difficult fixtures to come but I have a feeling we might carry on the winning streak just a little while longer. 2-0 Fulham.

Predicted line-up

Rico; Odoi, Le Marchand, Ream, Bryan; Anguissa, Chambers, Sessegnon, Cairney, Babel; Mitrovic