After a season in which their side ditched blue shirts for red and a history of crumbling promotion bids for a Championship title, Cardiff City fans could be forgiven for not knowing whether they’re coming or going and that looks set to continue after the Premier League fixture computer churned them out a list which has the makings of a rollercoaster season.
One thing that a newly promoted side can usually count upon for sustenance in the early months of a sure-to-be-arduous top flight campaign is the winning momentum they’d built up in reaching the promised land.
Sadly Cardiff have been given scant chance of maintaining the winning thread in their opening games of the 2013/14 campaign, with Man City, Everton and Tottenham arriving to demoralise the Cardiff City Stadium support inside the opening five games.
There’s no let up for the Bluebirds either as Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd are to be faced before the end of November, meaning there’s just one spell during those months in which they go more than one game without meeting one of last season’s top-six.
In the past, newly promoted teams have often used the early part of the season to forge on with points gathering whilst they still hold some secrets from the established overlords of the Premier League, but the fixture list will make this hard for Malky Mackay’s men.
Cardiff are the 6/5 outsiders of the newly-promoted trio in the Premier League relegation betting, but their price could be a fair bit shorter than that by the time February rolls around.
Whilst the difficulty of City’s fixtures eases off a bit in December, they’re right back into the furnace in January with visits to the Emirates, Old Trafford and the Etihad making it a miserable start to the New Year.
All this heavy weather means that the Bluebirds are finally given the chance to stretch their wings between February and the end of the season with a much more palatable run of fixtures. However, as teams like Derby County have shown in the past, the confidence and team spirit of a freshman top flight side is more fragile than a bone china toothpick and City could find themselves in a deep, deep hole by the time they reach the more clement fixtures of the spring time.