Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will take charge of Cardiff City for the first time when they travel to Newcastle in the FA Cup on Saturday.
The 40-year-old former Manchester United striker was appointed manager on Thursday, 24 hours after watching the Bluebirds’ 2-0 defeat at Arsenal with owner Vincent Tan on New Year’s Day. With just one win in their last 10 Premier League games, Cardiff are in desperately poor form. The FA Cup provides a little respite from the demands of top-flight football, although a trip to Newcastle, who they have not beaten since 1981, represents a stern first test for Solskjaer and his side.
Newcastle themselves go into the game on the back of consecutive league defeats which has seen them drop from their Boxing Day position of sixth. Alan Pardew’s men have enjoyed a good season, though, and will be looking to improve on their poor recent FA Cup record, which has seen them knocked out before the fifth round in each of the last eight years. Their main threat is of course top scorer Loic Remy, who has found the net ten times this campaign, including twice when the sides last met in the league in October.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3.00pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS:
Cardiff 1 (Odemwingie) Newcastle 2 (Remy 2), Premier League, October 2013
Newcastle 5 (Carroll 2, Gyepes og, Lovenkrands 2) Cardiff 1 (Wildig), Championship, February 2010
Cardiff 0 Newcastle 1 (Coloccini), Championship, September 2009
Newcastle have won in each of the last seven meetings between the sides.
Their last FA Cup meeting was a fourth round replay in 1939, which Newcastle won 4-1.
Both sides have reached the FA Cup Final in the last 20 years: Newcastle, twice, in 1998 and 1999, Cardiff in 2008.
Newcastle to win: 1.6
Cardiff to win: 4.8
TV: Highlights on ITV1 at 11.05pm