Time is running out for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Cardiff City. Last weekend’s abject defeat at home to Crystal Palace was their third loss in four games and left Cardiff six points adrift of safety. The appointment of Solskjaer has not had the impact that Vincent Tan had hoped for when he sacked Malky Mackay at the end of 2013 - the Norwegian has lost nine of his first 13 league matches in charge, collecting only eight points.
Saturday’s match is the first of three Cardiff still have to play outside of Wales before the end of the season. Their away form is the worst in the Premier League and must improve quickly if Solskjaer is to have any chance of leading the club to survival. Cardiff’s last win on their travels was in September 2013. They have taken just three points in the following 13 away league matches and now travel to a Southampton side that have scored eight times in their two most recent games at St Mary’s Stadium.
Southampton have impressed throughout the season and look set for a top-half finish. The loss of Jay Rodriguez to a season-ending cruciate knee ligament injury last weekend may have blunted Mauricio Pochettino’s front line but, in Rickie Lambert, Southampton have a player who has scored in three of his last four appearances and could yet travel to Brazil as part of Roy Hodgson’s England squad this summer.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3.07pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Cardiff City 0 Southampton 3 (Rodriguez 2, Lambert), Premier League, December 2013
Southampton 1 (Lambert) Cardiff City 1 (Conway), Championship, January 2012
Cardiff City 2 (Miller 2) Southampton 1 (De Ridder), Championship, September 2011
Before this season, the teams had never met in the Premier League
Cardiff have not won at Southampton since 1962 - they have not won in their last 13 visits to the south coast
Cardiff have the worst away record in the league
Rickie Lambert has scored more Premier League goals this season than Cardiff’s strikers put together
Southampton to win: 1.50
Cardiff City to win: 6.00
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.30pm