An unexpected win against Everton gave Sunderland’s survival chances in the Premier League a real boost but if they are to remain in the top-flight this year they need to make sure they find more consistent form.
They come into the clash buoyed by the return of defender John O’Shea but are still without keeper Kieren Westwood and centre half Carlos Cuellar. Wes Brown will also miss the game through suspension.
For Cardiff City it has been a tough two games, first getting humbled by Liverpool 3-1 and then conceding another three against Southampton on Boxing Day after Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert provided the goals.
Off the pitch, the ongoing saga between manager Maly Mackay and chairman Vincent Tan can’t be having a good effect on the club and the team’s performances on the pitch have been poor ever since the news arose that Tan wanted Mackay out. His side have only scored two goals in the last six games and although the fans are behind him he will have to start producing the goods if he wants to stay on as manager.
FFC Predicts: Cardiff City 2-1 Sunderland
Cardiff City are under the cosh at the moment and need to bounce back. If they are going to it will be at home to Sunderland, who are struggling themselves despite that win over Everton.
Cardiff City v Sunderland Pre-Match Stats
Cardiff have not met Sunderland in the top-flight since 1956/57, when they won one and drew one of two meetings.
Sunderland have won their last two trips to Cardiff in the league without conceding.
Sunderland have won only one of their 12 final games of the year in the Premier League (3-1 v Bolton in 2007)
Sunderland have kept three successive clean sheets in the Premier League – the longest run seen in the PL this season is Southampton’s four in a row (Sept-Oct).
Vito Mannone has kept five clean sheets in eight Premier League starts this season for Sunderland.
Cardiff City have lost two successive Premier League games, they have not lost three league games in succession since November 2009.
Despite playing 18 games fewer in 2013 than Sunderland (36), Cardiff have won just three games fewer in the Premier League this calendar year (4) than their opponents (7).
David Marshall (70) has made more saves than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League this season.
Sunderland have lost more points from leading positions than any other side this season (11) in the Premier League.
Cardiff have only been in the lead on five occasions in the Premier League this season – no side have led less frequently (Villa also five).