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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Burnley can inflict more misery on struggling Cardiff

Clarets have the tools to negate the sloppy hosts

Burnley winger Aaron Lennon (right) has rediscovered his form
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Premier League
Sky Sports Premier League, 4pm Sunday

Cardiff have missed out on the bounce which promoted teams often enjoy at the start of a campaign and their supporters could be left feeling flat by a damaging defeat to Burnley.

There is unlikely to be much free-flowing football at the Cardiff City Stadium with both teams acutely aware of the importance of the game.

Achieving top-flight consolidation always looked like being a tricky challenge for Cardiff, who were comprehensively out-spent by fellow promoted sides Fulham and Wolves.

The lack of quality has been obvious in their first six games.
Cardiff's players have given everything but they have just two 0-0 draws, at home to Newcastle and away to Huddersfield, to show for their efforts.

Even those results were tinged with disappointment because on both occasions the Bluebirds failed to take advantage of playing against ten men.

Experienced manager Neil Warnock has tried to keep his players thinking positively and insists that it is games against the teams outside the established big six which will decide Cardiff's season.

But for Cardiff to win enough of those matches, they will have to show more of a cutting edge.

Summer signings Bobby Reid and Josh Murphy are still waiting to score their first Premier League goals and Cardiff often seem far more dangerous from set-pieces than from open play.

Powerful centre-backs Sol Bamba and Sean Morrison are a danger from long throws, corners and free kicks but a direct style of play is unlikely to fluster Burnley, who are one of the most physical sides in the division.

Burnley have the tools to negate the hosts and possess better quality in the final third.

They have quality on both flanks with Aaron Lennon playing as well as he has since his Tottenham days and technically gifted Icelandic winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson providing a steady stream of quality crosses.

And there is a bit more guile and pace in the centre-forward position thanks to Matej Vydra's elevation to the starting line-up.

Vydra and Lennon were on the scoresheet in last Saturday's 4-0 success at home to Burnley and Ashley Barnes wrapped things up with two late goals after coming off the bench.

Powerful strikers Sam Vokes and Chris Wood are also in the mix and Burnley's variety of attackers sets them apart from Cardiff, who are probably on a par with them in defence and midfield.

Tight games are often won by the team with the greater firepower and that could be the case in Wales with Burnley looking excellent value at odds against with the draw no bet.

Burnley draw no bet
1pt 11-10 Betfair, Paddy Power

Bet on this match at

Team news
Right-back Lee Peltier faces three months out with a dislocated shoulder but Aron Gunnarsson (knee) is out.

Steven Defour (calf) is back in contention after playing in the EFL Cup loss at Burton on Tuesday but Robbie Brady and Ben Gibson are still injured.

Key stat
Cardiff have not won any of their last ten top-flight matches.

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Cardiff have not won any of their last ten top-flight matches
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