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Cardiff City v Swansea City: The Welsh Derby Preview

Russell Martin has done the double and now he is aiming for the quadruple – four successive Swansea City victories over bitter rivals Cardiff.

No manager from either club had managed to do what Martin achieved last season, when he led the Swans to home and away victories.

Now, though, with a home win already in the bag this season, he will take his team to the capital on Saturday afternoon seeking another triumph which would force a re-writing of the history books.

“I think it’s a really interesting game for loads of reason – because of the last game against them, because of the league position – and it’s one we’re looking forward to,” says Martin.

For the fourth time, Martin will come up against a different Cardiff manager after previously facing Mick McCarthy, Steve Morison and Mark Hudson – a sequence that underlines the instability at the Bluebirds in the past two seasons.

This time, though, under Sabri Lamouchi, there are signs Cardiff will prove tougher opposition, despite their position hovering just above the Championship relegation zone.

Lamouchi has won three of his last six games in charge and might have made it four had their match at Rotherham not been abandoned due to a downpour when Cardiff led 1-0.

Martin says of Lamouchi, “I know about his Forest team, where they had a really good season when he was there.  That team probably looked a bit more how he wanted it to look, because of the time he had.

“He was able to put that together, but when you come in and the club’s in the position it’s in, it’s always difficult for a new manager.

“But they have really picked up some momentum and had a few really good results.

“He has someone with him in Sol Bamba, who understands the club and the supporters and has a really good connection with them. I’m pretty sure he would have gotten everyone on board and on side.”

In those last three games won by the Swans, the aggregate scoreline between the two clubs stands at Swansea City 9, Cardiff City 0.

Zoom out a bit further and the pattern of white-themed dominance is even more apparent. In the last eight derby matches, Swansea have won six, drawn one and lost just once.

The aggregate score across those eight games is a whopping 15-1.

No wonder Cardiff City manager Sabri Lamouchi admitted: “We need to be smart, clever, compact and united – all those things if we are going to do well.

“It is really important for us to get the points because of our league situation. Our job has not been done.”

Swansea have been boosted by the return to fitness of Joe Allen – who is set for a first derby appearance in 12 years – while Jay Fulton and Joel Latibeaudiere are back from suspension.

Lamouchi says Callum O’Dowda – a player Swansea tried to sign last summer – should be fit but Callum Robinson is not yet available after a hamstring problem.

It was Robinson who lost his head after only seven minutes in this fixture back in October when he was sent off for throwing the ball at Swansea’s Ben Cabango.

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