Earlier this week, it seemed certain Malky Mackay would become the sixth managerial casualty in the Premier League this season.
Despite club owner Vincent Tan eventually being persuaded to hold fire, Mackay’s position is still far from stable and a victory at home to Southampton would provide the club with a confidence boost following the bizarre scenario they found themselves in.
It is a much needed victory too as the Welsh outfit have only won one of the last seven matches, and such a run has seen them drop to 15 in the table, four points above the relegation zone. Although, after a much improved second half performance against Liverpool on Saturday, the Bluebirds will fancy their chances against an out of sorts Saints side.
Having seen their good early season form halted by injuries, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have fallen to ninth and will be desperate to win with tough fixtures against Everton and Chelsea to follow for the Saints.
The club’s last win was the 4-1 demolition of Hull back in November and crucial to Southampton’s return to form is Adam Lallana. The attacking midfielder shone once again during Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at home to Tottenham and further enhanced his claim to be involved in next year’s World Cup for England by scoring one and providing an assist.
KICK-OFF: Thursday, 3:00pm
Southampton 1 (Lambert) Cardiff City 1 (Conway), Championship, January 2012
Cardiff City 2 (Miller 2) Southampton 1 (De Ridder), Championship, September 2011
Southampton 1 (McGoldrick) Cardiff City 0, Championship, February 2009
Cardiff City 2 (Thompson, Johnson) Southampton 1 (McGoldrick), Championship, August 2008
Cardiff have won 11 of their 17 league points this season from home games.
Jordon Mutch’s strike in the second half against Liverpool ended a run of 498 minutes without a goal away from home in the Premier League for Cardiff.
Southampton have only taken two points from their last six Premier League games, after gaining 17 from the previous seven.
If the Saints concede on Thursday, they will have gone nine games without a clean sheet, although only Everton have let in fewer goals.
Adam Lallana now has more goals in the Premier League this season (4) than in 2012/13 when he managed three.
Cardiff City to win: 3.25
Southampton to win: 2.25
TV: Highlights on BBC’s MOTD at 10.25pm.