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OPPOSITION IN FOCUS: CARDIFF CITY

5 June 2018

REX/Shutterstock
Cardiff City celebrate promotion to the Premier League.

Our rundown of Brighton & Hove Albion’s Premier League opposition for the 2018/19 campaign continues with newly-promoted Cardiff City.

Cardiff City 

League position 2017/18: 2nd (Automatic promotion)

Top league goalscorer: Callum Paterson (10) 

How did they do last season? 

The Bluebirds secured promotion back to the Premier League after a four-season absence, finishing in second spot in the Sky Bet Championship with an impressive total of 90 points.

It was a hugely-successful campaign for Neil Warnock’s men, who never occupied a spot lower than fourth in the table, losing just three of their first 22 matches of the season – it was a run which included eye-catching victories over eventual champions Wolverhampton Wanderers, as well as Aston Villa, Leeds United and Middlesbrough. 

Another impressive unbeaten run from January through to the start of April maintained the Welsh side’s promotion push, and a return to England’s top division was sealed on the final day of the campaign with a 0-0 draw with Reading at the Cardiff City Stadium. 

Who’s in charge?

The experienced Neil Warnock described Cardiff's achievement as the ‘best of his career’ when he won the Bluebirds promotion last month.

Warnock’s eighth promotion as a manager was a new record for English football, as he bettered the records of Dave Bassett, Jim Smith and the late Graham Taylor.

His managerial career began with Gainsborough Trinity back in 1980 before he won his first promotion with Scarborough Athletic in 1987, and the Bluebirds are now the fourth side that he has taken to the top flight – more than any other manager.

Who should I keep an eye out for?

Junior Hoilett (above left) notched 11 goals in all competitions for the side in the 2017/18 campaign, finishing as their top goalscorer in the process. 

The midfielder was signed on a Bosman deal a few days into Warnock’s reign back in October 2016 – he had been without a club for three months before his move to Wales.

The former Blackburn Rovers and Queens Park Rangers man had found himself out of favour in west London, but the move to be reunited with Warnock signaled an upturn in form and the wide man went on to become one of the side’s most vital performers during their promotion-winning campaign.

When did we last meet?

The Bluebirds and Albion met in the Sky Bet Championship during the 2016/17 season, as Chris Hughton’s men sealed promotion to the top flight. 

The fixture in south Wales at the start of December ended all square in a 0-0 draw, with Gaetan Bong receiving a red card in the final minutes of the game.

The reverse contest at the end of January at the Amex Stadium ended in victory for the Seagulls, as a powerful turn and strike from Tomer Hemed in the second half was the difference between the two sides in a 1-0 win.


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