Arsene Wenger has hailed the giant-killing attitude of Cardiff City as Arsenal prepare to visit Wales on Saturday.
Cardiff has already registered a win against Manchester City and shared a point against United last weekend at their home ground. Wenger is aware of this very fact and knows that the game will be a real test for his side.
“Cardiff look to have good solidarity and have fantastic support. They are efficient on set pieces”, Wenger said.
“We have the warning of their performances against the big teams. Jordan Mutch and Fraizer Cambell will be the mail threats.”
Cardiff City will definitely seek to improve their record against Londoners as Bluebirds have only won two games against the Gunners in past 86 years while Arsenal will look to extend their lead in the Premier League. With 28 points from the first 12 games of the season, Arsenal leads the points table by 4 points against Liverpool and Chelsea who enjoy joint second position with 24 points from same number of matches.
And memories of their win against Arsenal in the FA Cup final in 1927 will no doubt give added motivation to the south Wales side. This will also be the first encounter between these sides at the new stadium of Cardiff City
Cardiff has just 13 points to their credit as they sit at lowly 15th position and they will try to gain some valuable points as they are just 3 points adrift the relegation zone.
Malky Mackey could give a starting berth to Andreas Cornelius, who only played the last few minutes of their draw against Manchester United after coming out from an ankle problem.
Arsenal have made flying start to the Premier League this season and currently enjoy number one spot, four points ahead of second placed rivals Liverpool and Chelsea. Cardiff are also habitual of making big upsets as they have already claimed two major results on their home ground this term.
Aaron Ramsey, the best player of Premier League this season so far, will return to his old club. The Welsh international scored two goals in 22 appearances for Cardiff before joining the North London club in 2008. Ramsey has now established himself as a first-team regular under Arsene Wenger and he sent a warning message to his former clubs and their fans that the Arsenal would not be going to show any mercy.
“We know our form after Christmas has been second to none in the last few seasons,” Aaron Ramsey said to media, “so we are totally focused on putting ourselves in a position where we are there or thereabouts because we are confident we can kick on in the new year. We are hungry to win trophies and win games. That is no different this season to any other but in the past we’ve got off to bad starts and had to play catch-up.”
Arsene Wenger is also upbeat about the form of Ramsey it seems. I saw (Ramsey) on tape when he played with Cardiff. There is a lot more to come from him” the Frenchman said. He is also well aware of the importance of maintaining the healthy start to the season.
“The players keep a good focus at the moment. We want to keep the same level of urgency and hunger. We want to take advantage of playing earlier than our rivals this weekend.”
Malky Mackey on the other hand, will definitely try to scalp yet another big fish in the form of Arsenal to mark the start of the weekend.