Cardiff City vs Swansea City preview: Can Swans achieve a derby double?
Swansea's Ben Wilmot celebrates scoring the only goal of October's South Wales derby. Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images.

Swansea City will aim for a first-ever double over their greatest rivals in English football when they head to Cardiff City on Sunday afternoon.

Incredibly, in the previous 30 seasons in which the two have been in the same league in England, neither has achieved six points in the South Wales derby.

The Swans will have the opportunity to do so following their 1-0 win at the Liberty Stadium in late October, secured through a Ben Wilmot header in an otherwise uninspiring clash.

The old adage is that form goes out the window in derbies and both will certainly hope that is true. Cardiff were dismal in a 6-1 thrashing at QPR on New Year’s Day and Swansea fared little better against the same opponents in the FA Cup last weekend, going down 5-1.

Swansea at least started 2020 with a 1-0 win over Charlton Athletic and, despite faltering after a glittering start to the campaign, Steve Cooper’s side remains the one more likely to ensure Welsh representation in the play-offs, and a historic derby double would return them to the top six.

Team news

Swansea have been active in the loan market at the start of January, bringing Rhian Brewster and Marc Guehi in from Premier League giants Liverpool and Chelsea respectively, and both could make their debuts.

Guehi looks set for a first league start of his career with fellow centre-back Mike van der Hoorn a doubt for the game with a knee injury.

For Neil Harris’ outfit, the game might come too soon for midfielder Joe Ralls to make his return from a broken hand, while Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Isaac Vassell and Matthew Connolly remain out.

What the managers have said

Swans boss Cooper says the club is well aware of the unique achievement that is at stake in the 109th South Wales derby.

"We are aware winning two games in a season has never been done," he said. "But the closer you get to the game the more you have to stay focused on what it takes to win the football match and that is the performance and a mentality, a togetherness and a style to get over the line.

"But it just adds to the motivation. Store it in your head, make sure it drives you to the places you need to go.

"Yes, there is always context around the game. This one is very different. It's a game that matters, big time."

It will be a first derby for Harris since replacing Neil Warnock at the Cardiff City Stadium, and the former Millwall chief is relishing his first taste of the fixture.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

“This is why I came to Cardiff City, to come and manage big games and it doesn’t get more important than this.

“It’s a tough fixture. Swansea have some good players. We're fully aware of the record, we're fully aware of the result in the corresponding fixture and the record over the past 100-odd years.

“I’ve been told in no uncertain terms from people around here what it means to people. As a manager, it doesn’t get any bigger to be honest.”

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