GMS Academy member Kaya Kaynak asesses Cardiff City's Premier League chances this season.
Gary Medel (Sevilla, £11m) Steven Caulker (Tottenham, £9m), Andreas Cornelius (FC Copenhagen, £8.5m), John Brayford (Derby, £1.5m), Simon Moore (Brentford, Undisclosed)
Stephen McPhail (Released), Nat Jarvis (Released), Heidar Helguson (Released), Ben Nugent (Brentford, Loan)
Last Season Summary
Championship Finish- 1st, Championship Top Scorer- Gunnarsson/ Helguson/ Whittingham (8), FA Cup- 3rd Round, League Cup- 1st Round, Discipline- 76 yellows, 3 reds
What to Expect This Summer
This summer you can expect Cardiff to go about trying to bolster their attacking options, due to the fact that joint top scorer Heidar Helguson has been released, January transfer Frazier Campbell netted seven times but is very injury-prone, much like Premier League veteran Nicky Maynard who is back from an 8 month injury lay-off.
Andreas Cornelius has already been brought in but with his recent injury you can expect them to sign maybe one more. Also you can expect them to sign a few more players with Premier League experience to see them safely in mid-table.
What to Expect This Season
Like Welsh counterparts Swansea you can expect Cardiff to finish comfortably in mid-table in their first ever season in the BPL. However, the way they are likely to go about doing this will be different from their local rivals.
Unlike the Swans, the Red Dragons (or Bluebirds for traditionalists) are likely to pick up points by being tough to beat with a robust defence and nicking the odd goal here or there on the break and comfortably beating those in and around them, rather than playing the silky slick football that Brendan Rodgers and Micheal Laudrup have brought to the division in previous seasons.
Manager Malky Mackay is also a big advocate of signing and playing younger players to build for the future, hence leading to the signings of Caulker and Cornelius
Plan A - You can expect them to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with one genuine anchoring midfielder and one more forward thinking midfielder to help push up from deep.
Plan B - Kick it long to Rudy Gestede, for him to knock it down to either Campbell or Cornelius, although some fans may want a better signing than the misfiring big Beninise.
A solid defense with new signing Caulker likely to partner captain Mark Hudson, with the likes of Connolly and Turner looking more than capable of making the step up to the premier league. They also possess an ability to do a Stoke and win ugly, as well as the free-kick taking ability of Craig Bellamy too.
Goals. New signing Cornelius has only got one season of top flight football and as mentioned previously all other current available strikers known to be quite injury-prone, which could be their downfall
Lessons From Last Season
Use the squad better. Too much reliance was put on the ageing legs of Peter Wittingham last year with him playing every minute until the end of March. Also despite Maynard's long-term injury, £1.5m signing Etien Velikonja only played half an hour for the Welsh capital's only Club.
Andreas Cornelius. The young Dane was Cardiff's record signing until Caulker and Medel came in for the Red Dragons, and has a lot of pressure on him to fire the goals required to not only keep Cardiff in the league but to send them into a comfortable mid-table position.
Did You Know
Cardiff's Malaysian owners' plans to promote the club in his home country were foiled by the smog levels in the capital Kuala Lumpur, which were considered above hazardous for the travelling party including gaffer Makay, captain Hudson and star player Bellamy
Cardiff kept 18 clean sheets last season - The most in the Championship
Fraizer Campbell's seven goals came in just 12 games last season
Eight Cardiff City players scored four before Christmas; only Bolton had more players achieve that in the whole season.
11th. The solid defence combined with a never say die attitude of their dogged strikers should see them comfortably stay up, finishing easily in the mid-table.
To be relegated: 6/4
To be the top newly promoted side 4/5
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