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Hartson Backs Swansea City To Beat Cardiff City

Hartson Backs Swansea City To Beat Cardiff City

John Hartson is backing his hometown club to beat Cardiff City away on Saturday afternoon.

The former Celtic and Wales international striker is predicting a narrow 1-0 win for Paulo Sousa's side - and if he's right it would complete the double this season over our arch rivals.

Swansea City can boast going unbeaten since their promotion to the Championship in 2008 - not losing in 4 games against the Bluebirds.

Darren Pratley struck a brace to help us to a 3-2 win at the Liberty Stadium in November and hopefully we can see a repeat of that on the weekend.

Hartson said:

"I`m going for Swansea to break with history and win a very tight game, probably 1-0,"

"The referee will have to be strong and I think he will have a big part to play. It will probably come down to something like a dodgy penalty to win it.

"South Wales derbies are always big games, it would be exactly like that even if the two teams were down near the bottom of the league or with nothing to play for.

"But the fact they are each in the play-off positions will definitely give that extra bit of spice for the fans and players.

"I played in 23 Old Firm derbies while at Celtic but I would have dearly liked to play in a South Wales one, they are huge."

Hartson also added that the pressure is on Dave Jones' side, as they've yet to experience a derby day win in the League in 13 years.

"There`s extra pressure on Cardiff because they have failed to win a derby in the last two years, Swansea have always had the edge.

"Maybe Swansea appreciate the derby a bit more, I don`t know, it is hard to put your finger on it.

"I`m not saying the Swansea players understand what it means more than Cardiff players, but maybe, on the evidence of what we`ve seen, they want it a bit more for the supporters. Maybe.

"So the onus will be on Cardiff to beat Swansea, especially playing in front of their own fans. They will have to look to go out and score goals against Swansea but that is not easy because they are so good defensively.

"Swansea do not conceded many goals."

Hartson is hoping to see both Welsh teams involved in the play-offs:

'Swansea would have been very disappointed with the big loss away at Blackpool and then failing to see off Ipswich,"

"But I`m sure the two managers would have snapped your hands off at the start of the season if you`d offered them their current positions, sitting in the play-off places with six games to go.

"Each team needs a few more wins to make themselves secure, and there is always a bit of luck involved.

"If either side lose, they then slip a little closer to the chasing pack and that comes with a lot more pressure.

"I don`t think either side will want it to go to the last day of the season, so they will be desperate to get it sorted as soon as possible.

"Cardiff probably thought they were home and dry last year but I am sure they will have learned the lessons from what happened, no doubt Swansea will have looked at that and thought likewise too.

"I would like to see the two teams in there.

"It would be great to see Swansea meet Cardiff in the play-off semi-final or final."

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Date:Wednesday March 31 2010
Time: 7:12PM

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