Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had an opportunity to be a Premier League manager before taking the Cardiff job, turning down Aston Villa in 2012. How he must wish he’d jumped at that chance now, with his south Welsh side struggling at both ends of the pitch.
Having struggled to overcome Championship side Wigan in the FA Cup, Cardiff now have nothing but Premier League survival to focus on as they bid to avoid slipping back into the second tier after just one season with the big boys.
A lack of firepower is the main worry for the Norwegian manager, with the fact the Bluebirds failed to impose themselves on a team from a lower division a harrowing thought going into the final leg of the season.
Cardiff have scored the second-fewest goals in the Premier League this season with 19 and have scored more than one in a game just six times.
Combine that with the harsh reality that only Fulham have shipped more goals at the other end, and the 3/1 on Vincent Tan’s project finishing bottom of the division this term looks a sound investment.
Fraizer Campbell is the club’s leading scorer with five Premier League strikes but has only ever managed to reach double figures in two seasons during his career, at Royal Antwerp and when playing for Hull in the Championship.
Kenwyne Jones was brought in from Stoke to provide some goal-scoring relief, but his Premier League record of 40 goals in 185 games averages out as a goal every four outings, hardly saviour material.
Wilfried Zaha has potential to be the club’s X Factor, but considering Tom Ince vastly out performed him when they both played in the Championship, Solskjaer looks to have plumped for the wrong wide man in January.
Add to that the potential defensive unsteadying Gary Medel’s muscle tear will provide and Cardiff’s plight to steer clear of 20th place, let alone their Premier League status, looks a lost one.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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