|Christmas may be on the horizon but for Cardiff City and Southampton the hard work begins as they aim to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Cardiff City started the campaign as the favourites for the drop but will begin this match sitting outside the relegation zone.A win could see them move further clear and 5 points away from their opponents.
Southampton have a new manager in place following the dismissal of Mark Hughes. This will be the first game in control of the team for Ralph Hasenhuttl and the Austrian will be hoping to get off to the perfect start with a win.
Cardiff City return home having lost 3-1 at West Ham United on Tuesday night. Having gone in level at half-time, Neil Warnock will be disappointed to have conceded 3 goals in the second half which saw Cardiff ultimately lose the match 3-1.
However, the players will be happy to return to the Cardiff City Stadium where they have won their last two Premier League games. There have been wins over Brighton and Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers which shows Cardiff are capable of beating teams in the bottom half of the table.
Keeping clean sheets has been the main issue for Cardiff City this season and trends show they have conceded at least 1 goal in each of their last thirteen matches in all competitions. Over 2.5 goals have been scored in ten of their last thirteen games and we could see more of the same in this match.
Southampton were given little hope of picking anything up in their match at Wembley on Wednesday night and so it turned out as they lost 3-1 against Tottenham Hotspur. The game was out of sight by the time Southampton scored their consolation goal at the end of the match.
Trends show Southampton have won only four of their last forty Premier League games and with such a poor record, it is little surprise Mark Hughes was sacked this week. The Saints have failed to win any of their last nine games in all competitions and their only success in their last thirteen matches came via a penalty shoot-out win over Everton in the League Cup.
Southampton have conceded 12 goals in their last three away Premier League games but have managed to get at least one goal themselves in each of those matches.
Looking ahead to the team news and Cardiff City are waiting on the fitness of Kenneth Zahore and Jazz Richards who are being monitored day-to-day. Expect the starting XI to be close to that which defeated Wolves.
Hasenhuttl will select his first Southampton team but has several injury concerns including Ryan Bertrand, Michael Obafemi, Sam Gallagher, Danny Ings and Shane Long.
This is going to be a great battle at the bottom of the table but Cardiff City have the momentum at home and a settled team. It is going to be tough for Hasenhuttl to have a major impact within just a few days and although his team may score, expect Cardiff City win the match.