No.2: Cardiff’s survival chances, the home fortress and top four predictions.
By Adam Bailey
Ahead of Sunday's game against newly promoted Cardiff City, we spoke to Bluebirds fan Barry Murphy as his team are set to play their first Premier League game at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Cardiff have been promising promotion from the Championship for a number of years now and you're finally here! How excited are you about seeing The Bluebirds in the Premiership after all this time?
Barry: I’ve been watching Cardiff for twenty-six years so after spending many of those years in the bottom two divisions, the Championship was a breath of fresh air. Now we are in the Premiership, it’s a whole new world. I’m looking forward to seeing world class players every week and hopefully it won’t be a one season wonder for us.
After seeing your side suffer a 2-0 defeat to West Ham on the opening day, do you think Malky Mackay needs to bring in any more fresh faces to strengthen the squad?
Barry: It was evident that one of our main problems on Saturday was a lack of attacking threat. We were without our new £8million striker but we still lack a genuine threat out wide. The fact Malky has left the number 11 shirt vacant suggests he is in the hunt for a winger. We also need another left back in my opinion.
You're two best buys have to be Steven Caulker from Tottenham Hotspur and Gary Medel from Sevilla. Would you agree?
Barry: They were the two signings that shocked me the most. Caulker was talked about as a future Spurs captain last season so I was very surprised they let him go. Medel has been talked about as one of the top defensive midfielders in La Liga despite his disciplinary problems. I saw these two signings as a real statement of intent from Malky.
Since it's opening in 2009, your side have really made the Cardiff City stadium a fortress with only 19 losses in 104 matches. Do you think you can continue this fine record in the Premier League?
Barry: Home form will be the key to survival for us this season. [Cardiff] City fans need to make the stadium a real fortress and a horrible place for other teams to come. We have proved in the past we really can be the twelfth man on the pitch.
Who would you say is your key player on Sunday and why?
Barry: Man City have world class talent all over the pitch. Caulker has a massive job against Sergio Aguero but stopping the supply to the front line will be key so Gary Medel has a massive job on his hands. If he can stifle the influence of Yaya Toure and Fernandinho then we may limit Man City's chances.
Predicted Cardiff line-up?
Barry: Left back Andrew Taylor is back from suspension so I see him as the only change. Malky will probably opt for 4-5-1 again so the line-up should be:
Marshall; Connelly, Taylor, Caulker, Turner; Medel, Kim-Bo, Whittingham, Gunnarson, Bellamy; Campbell.
Who would you say is Cardiff’s danger man and why?
Barry: Kim-bo Kyung looked different class at times last season and I feel he will thrive in the Premiership. If he can get some time on the ball on Sunday, he may have the quality to unlock Man City's defence.
|Danger man: Kim-Bo Kyung|
Photo: Official CCFC Facebook
Who do you think will finish in the top four and in the three relegation spots?
Barry: The top three will be no different to usual. Chelsea will be champions with Man City second and Man Utd third. Fourth place is up for grabs but I will go for Spurs after their summer transfer activity. Bottom three I predict Hull City, Crystal Palace and Stoke City.
And finally, your prediction for the game?
Barry: After watching Man City tear Newcastle apart on Monday, I do fear for us. My heart says we could sneak a draw but my head says a Man City victory by two goals.