Swansea’s Michu misses out in combined XI with rivals Cardiff

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For fans of south Welsh football, days like the one that approaches on Saturday evening are of the utmost importance.

Swansea and Cardiff renew age-old hostilities at the Liberty Stadium, with the Michael Laudrup-less Swans given 17/20 favouritism, while the visiting Bluebirds land as 16/5 outsiders.

As we’ve already alluded to, the match is set to be a closer affair than those odds suggest, and our Mix n Match XI only goes further to back those thoughts up, with Swansea edging their noses in front, thanks to six representatives.

Swansea-Cardiff-Mix-n-Match

With both sides struggling to keep their heads above water this season, a dependable goalkeeper who can keep you in games is a must. David Marshall is that man. In fact, no other keeper in the division has made more saves than him, with Michel Vorm’s 21 paling in comparison to Marshall’s 79.

The back four is a Swansea-centric affair with only Steven Caulker rated highly enough from Cardiff’s stopping stocks to join Angel Rangel, Ashley Williams and Ben Davies in the starting XI.

Gary Medel is the man tasked with protecting that Swansea-dominant defence, with his 2.3 tackles per game stacking up nicely with his 1.9 interceptions to prove he’s a more than capable candidate for the role.

Jonathan De Guzman sits alongside the Chilean, pulling creative strings. Leading the way in both squads for key passes per game, the Dutchman is certainly effective at the job and his three assists only boosts that train of thought.

On the wings, Craig Noone is arguably the man in form of the two sides after strong games against Manchester City and Norwich recently, while Peter Whittingham gets the nod for his accurate crossing and assist making play on the left, despite an unfortunate half-hour stint last time out.

Up front Wilfried Bony really has no competition in the fight for his place, not that anyone would want a scrap with the stacked Ivorian, but Michu’s injury and Frazier Campbell’s fewer goals make it an easy decision.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.