1. ITV Report

Swansea and Cardiff face close league rivals

Nathan Dyer came off the bench to score in a 1-1 draw with Southampton last week Photo: Daniel Hambury / PA Wire / Press Association Images

Swansea City and Cardiff City both face sides who are one place, and one point, above them in their respective divisions this afternoon.

For Michael Laudrup's Premier League men, it's a long, long trip to Newcastle United. The Magpies sit 10th, and the Swans know they can leapfrog them with an away win at St James' Park.

Swansea winger Wayne Routledge will be hoping to line up against his former side. The 27-year-old signed for Newcastle in January 2010, but left for South Wales just eighteen months later. His teammate Danny Graham could play against the team he supported as a boy.

Wayne has been superb - he is probably in the best form of his career. I'm sure he wants to go back and prove a point for himself. Newcastle wanted rid of him and he's had a superb season, so it's up to him to show them what they're missing out on.

Everything about [Newcastle United] is great, and I can't speak highly enough of them. But the most important thing for me is to put all that aside. I'm contracted to Swansea City, and I want to do as well as I can for the fans here.

– Danny Graham, Swansea City Striker

Graham has been out of Laudrup's line-up recently, but could reclaim his role as the spearhead of Swansea's attack today, with Michu dropping to midfield. Ki Sung-Yueng has been ruled out of the game with a hamstring injury, and there are also doubts over the fitness of Kemy Agustien and Leon Britton.

Swansea have headed north on the back of consecutive 1-1 draws, at home against Chelsea and away at Southampton.

Malky Mackay must be trying to work out the disparity between his side's home and away form Credit: Stephen Pond / EMPICS Sport

Such consistency in results has certainly eluded their colleagues a little way along the M4. Cardiff City host Middlesbrough - themselves making the long journey down from the North East - this afternoon, aiming for a ninth successive home win in the league. It's an 100% record so far. Last time out, they beat Hull City 2-1; two weeks before that it was Burnley beaten 4-0. In the meantime, they lost 2-1 away at Bolton and 5-4 at Charlton.

It's highly unlikely that you're going to win every home game of the season. But there's no reason to say that you can't go a long period of winning them. We're good at home, we believe we can win at home. I think the fans believe we can win at home, so who's to say it can't continue.

– Andrew Taylor, Cardiff City Full-back

Taylor is another facing former friends. The full-back started his career at 'Boro, who are themselves unbeaten in nine matches and up to second in the Championship. Cardiff - who have Craig Bellamy returning to the matchday squad - are one point behind in third, and also know they'll leapfrog their visitors and move into the automatic promotion spots with a win.

Today's fixtures:

  • Barclays Premier League - Newcastle United v Swansea City - 15:00
  • Npower Championship - Cardiff City v Middlesbrough - 15:00
  • Blue Square Bet Premier - Newport County v Hyde - 15:00
  • Blue Square Bet Premier - Wrexham v Gateshead - 15:00

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