Neil Warnock set to spring a surprise on Chelsea this weekend to get his first victory
Dominic Booth gives football.london the inside track on the Bluebirds
ByOliver Harbord Chelsea Correspondent
Wednesday 12th September 2018
The one massive question still facing Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea and how he will solve it
Chelsea have the chance to make it five wins out of five to start their 2018/19 Premier League campaign as they take on newly-promoted Cardiff City on Saturday.
Many might think that Neil Warnock is going to set-up his Bluebirds in a similar way to how Rafa Benitez tried to play against the Blues at St James' Park by sitting deep and parking the bus for much of the match.
However, football.london spoke to Dominic Booth, sports writer for WalesOnline, on how the Welsh side might approach the match, and Blues supporters might be surprised on how the visitors to Stamford Bridge might go at the game.
What should Chelsea fans expect to see from Cardiff City this weekend?
Many Chelsea fans might expect Cardiff to come and 'park the bus', try and frustrate the Blues as Newcastle did earlier in the season. But Neil Warnock has promised a bolder approach in these games against top six sides, a formula that nearly reaped rewards against Arsenal before the international break. Cardiff will still be resilient, physically strong and dangerous from set pieces, but they will try and play some football too.
What have you made of Cardiff's start to the season so far?
It's probably what we expected, albeit a little disappointing for Cardiff fans that they didn't win either of the games against Newcastle or Huddersfield, because both of those games were played against 10-men for a time. They also felt unlucky not to get any points against Arsenal, so there is optimism that the Bluebirds' first win back in the Premier League is just around the corner.
Who are the main threats that might cause Chelsea some real trouble at the weekend?
Pace on the counter-attack will be a vital weapon this weekend and for Cardiff that comes from the wingers Josh Murphy and Junior Hoilett. They actually haven't performed as well from set pieces this season as they did last term, which is something Warnock will want to use as a threat against Chelsea.
What do you think to Chelsea's style of play and will Cardiff be able to counter it?
Chelsea are obviously hugely possession-based but Cardiff are accustomed to seeing less of the ball, so that shouldn't deter them.
But Sarri's particular style seems to favour very quick passing rather than just possession for the sake of it, so Cardiff will need to be on their defensive game to stop Chelsea.
The Bluebirds are blessed with power in the back four rather than agile, technical defenders so they could find it tough.
Injury news, expected starting XI?
Aron Gunnarsson is still a doubt as he looks to return from a knee injury, while Nathaniel Mendez-Laing is out until Christmas.
Josh Murphy could return after missing out against Arsenal.
Expected XI: Etheridge; Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett; Ralls, Arter, Camarasa; Hoilett, Murphy, Reid.
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