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Premier League

  • November 30, 2013
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff (Caerdydd)
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 27948

Premier League Preview: Cardiff City - Arsenal

Malky Mackay's men have already beaten Manchester City and snatched a last-gasp draw with Manchester United but face another test in the form of the division's current leader.

Cardiff City hosts Arsenal on Saturday in a fixture that holds a great deal of historical significance for the home team.

The Welsh side secured the only FA Cup crown in club history by beating the Gunners in 1927 but the club's fortunes against the north Londoners have been pretty dismal since.

Two wins in the subsequent 86 years do not make pleasant reading for the Bluebirds and Malky Mackay will be keen to set the record straight.

Arsenal has been flying in the Premier League this season and currently sits top, four points clear of closest rivals Liverpool and Chelsea, but Cardiff has already claimed two major results on home soil this term, picking up a 3-2 victory over Manchester City and earning a late draw against Manchester United on Sunday.

The tie also sees one of the top flight's most in-form players, Aaron Ramsey, return to his old stomping ground. The 22-year-old scored two goals in 22 appearances for Cardiff before joining Arsenal in 2008.

Though he returned for a loan spell in 2011 as he recovered from a broken leg, Ramsey has since established himself as a first-team regular under Arsene Wenger and he fired a warning to his former employers that the Gunners would not be taking their feet off the gas.

"We know our form after Christmas has been second to none in the last few seasons," he told reporters, "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."

Arsenal is not expected to have any fresh injury concerns for the trip to Wales, with Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Abou Diaby and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (both knee) still sidelined, while Cardiff could give a starting berth to Andreas Cornelius, who played the last four minutes of their draw with United after recovering from an ankle problem.

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