Given the contrasting fortunes of the Swans and Bluebirds this season to date, it remains to be seen whether or not both sides will renew their bitter rivalry in the Premier League in 2018.
The 2013-14 Premier League season saw the first-ever top flight South Wales Derby as we went head-to-head with rivals Cardiff City. Although the Bluebirds won the first meeting that season; 1-0 at the Cardiff City Stadium, thanks to a goal from former Swans defender Steven Caulker.
Much had changed by the time we met at the Liberty Stadium in February 2014 as Wayne Routledge, Nathan Dyer and Wilfried Bony scored in the second half in a comfortable 3-0 victory. This was Garry Monk’s first game in charge of the Swans, replacing Michael Laudrup just days before the clash.
Cardiff would be relegated by the end of the season and until this season they hadn’t looked at all like promotion contenders. Last season they finished mid-table after appointing Neil Warnock back in October.
The manager who’s been a huge success at a number of clubs in the second tier appears to be working his magic once again as they currently sit second in the Championship.
The centre-back partnership of Sol Bamba and Sean Morrison is working well for the Bluebirds, whilst Warnock is also getting the best out of Junior Hoillet. One of his best signings over the summer has been Nathaniel Mendez-Laing from Rochdale as he’s been among several goals this season. Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was also picked up from a lower league side on a free transfer over the summer.
Even if Cardiff fail to gain promotion this season our safety is anything but guaranteed in the Premier League. Our 1-0 win at home to West Brom on Saturday has only just got us out of the bottom three.
From a Swans perspective, Paul Clement has really failed to get the attack working, particularly following the big sale of Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton during the summer. Our own summer signings haven’t given us much more optimism either – Roque Mesa has barely played, Renato Sanches has been hit and miss, but at least Wilfried Bony and Tammy Abraham are finding the back of the net.
However, we’re firing in few shots on goal this season – currently the fewest in the Premier League to be precise. Whilst we do have two strikers who know where the back of the net is, we’re not supplying them too well – which makes the January transfer window crucial.
You’d probably get good odds on there being a South Wales derby in the Premier League now if you looked at some football bets with the likes of Betfair!
The graphic below from Betfair shows some of the biggest derbies in English football but unfortunately we didn’t make the list: