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Cardiff have no choice but to beat Clarets

Sunday 30th September 2018

Cardiff enter Premier League week seven as one of three teams without a win. They want nothing better than to end that run. Neil Warnock's side could face no better club than Burnley in this situation. The Clarets picked up their first win this campaign, against Bournemouth last week. Following Huddersfield and Newcastle's failure to improve yesterday and Burnley's presence on four points in 17th, it's an opportunity for the Bluebirds to fly out of the relegation places. Burnley should want to kick on. Cardiff hope to catch them breathing a sigh of relief.

Cardiff can only look to themselves to find fault. After finishing second in the Championship and returning to the Premier League, management invested little in upgrading the squad to face tougher opposition. It is a major step up from the second tier. Every club is well-heeled and stocks quality in depth. Cardiff elected to bluster their way through the campaign. There isn't that much bluster to be had. Their signings were not Premier League quality. Few players in the squad have Premier League experience. Manager Neil Warnock has plenty. He must know this team will struggle to cope.

The early calendar doesn't favour Cardiff. Already, they've played three of the top six sides in Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City. In those three matches, they shipped 12 goals. They haven't covered themselves in glory against 2017/18 bottom-half sides either, struggling against Bournemouth, Newcastle and Huddersfield Town. The Cherries are in the top half at present. Regardless, Cardiff failed to find the net against any of the trio. Goalless draws against the Magpies and Terriers delivered their only two points to date. 

They did score in defeat to Arsenal, although that's little consolation. First, Arsenal put three past them. Second, the goal made them the last side in England's top six tiers to put one in the back of the net. In 2007/08, Derby registered the Premier League's worst season. The Rams claimed just one win and scored 20 goals. The Welsh side now have three in six games, putting them below that pace. Owner Vincent Tan must make some signings in January to keep the team up. Meanwhile, Warnock must conjure up a result or two for those signings to have a reasonable chance to make a difference. Having already played Newcastle and Huddersfield, Burnley is the closest team to them in the table. If they can't muster a result against Sean Dyche's side, how can they expect to find points against clubs further up the table?

The match is at the City Stadium. Fan support can help them turn the ground into a fortress. It's the only advantage Cardiff holds at the moment. They must make the most of it. Home wins against teams in the bottom half go a long way to accumulating the proverbial 40 points that promise survival. The draw against Newcastle has already cost them one such opportunity. Warnock cannot afford to waste another. A win is essential this week for Cardiff and Burnley is the best team they could ask for in their predicament.

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Aje Omolayo

I like to think of myself as an easy going lover of all things football, however, I do class myself as a die-hard Arsenal fan but I'm not biased enough to view life at the Emirates through rose-tinted spectacles and can appreciate when we are beaten by the better team on the day.


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