Cardiff City v Arsenal: Match preview

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Following a fantastic result against Manchester United last weekend, Cardiff City will be buoyed when they host another title contender, and currently leading the chase, in the form of Arsenal.

After two convincing home displays against United and City, this Cardiff team has proved many sceptics wrong as they've reached a respectable 15th place in the league. 13 points for a newly promoted team should be applauded, especially with how Malky Mackay has conducted his team this season. His ever-growing reputation increases every week as he continues to grind out results, such as holding Everton in a goalless draw in August.

Unfortunately for many Cardiff fans, that's where they will be likely to see their team compete for large amounts of the season, and the quality of depth in their squad will come into question after December. 

Cardiff will find Arsenal as a completely different opponent compared to the Manchester games. With both teams experiencing fluctuating periods of form, in particular City struggling away, the results weren't a complete shock to the neutral. Nevertheless, Cardiff held their own, but with various Arsenal players picking up their form, notably Jack Wilshire, there are many reasons for Cardiff to be worried.

Arsene Wenger will be hoping this weekend could see his team break-away from the chasing pack. With the top five teams below Arsenal all playing on Sunday, the match against Cardiff a day earlier will give Arsene's men an opportunity to apply some pressure on their rivals. Looking at games such as Chelsea vs Southampton, Tottenham vs Manchester United and Manchester City vs Swansea, they're is definite potential for points to be lost for the chasers. 

Even for the most doubtful Cardiff fan, many will be glad to see Aaron Ramsey return to the club who started his career. The player of the season will be full of various emotions as he prepares to face his former club for the first time in the Premier League and one would think he'll be warmly accepted back in Cardiff.

Team News: 

Arsene Wenger will be pleased with the return of Theo Walcott, as the attacker has made two consecutive substitute appearances. He will be pushing for a first-team start, but it's hard to imagine Wenger will tinker with a winning team.

The Frenchman will also welcome back Kieran Gibbs after recovering from illness.

Malky Mackay on the other hand, has no new injury concerns after their draw with Manchester United last week and has a fully fit squad to choose from.

The likes of Kim and Bellamy will be keen to start for the Bluebirds. 

Prediction: Cardiff City 1 - 3 Arsenal

KO: 15:00

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