There's no love lost between Neil Warnock and Rafa Benitez and Saturday's early game has all the hallmarks of a tough Premier League stalemate.
Cardiff v Newcastle (1230 BST Sky Sports Main Event)
There's still no love lost between Neil Warnock and Rafa Benitez even if their relationship has thawed in recent times, but their interactions on the bench may be worth a watch in the early kick-off.
Newcastle hold sway in this one with ten straight league wins against the Bluebirds, but a first home game of the season will have the Cardiff fans revved up to create a hostile atmosphere down in the Welsh capital.
The Magpies had a decent show against Spurs last week while Cardiff disappointed at Bournemouth with a toothless attack failing to really trouble what is usually a leaky Cherries defence.
Warnock will play his way and his way will be to frustrate teams and try and pinch games at home - but that blueprint, along with Newcastle's problems finding the back of the net mean this could be a low-scoring start to the weekend's football.
Benitez has never lost to Warnock, and Newcastle are good enough to keep that record intact, whether they can score at the other end though will be the big question.
Prediction: Cardiff 0-0 Newcastle (Sky Bet odds: 6/1)
There's always a case for a goal being scored in a Premier League game, especially from a set play or the like, but in this one it's so hard to see who's going to break the deadlock. It's only the second week but both these teams operate on a must-not-lose basis first and foremost, so a stalemate seems likely.
Best Bet: Draw at 2/1
If some games just scream draw at you then this one is yelling it from the rooftops. Cardiff will have plenty of huff and puff and Warnock-esque workrate about them but toothless was a kind description of their Bournemouth showing and something similar really limits their chances of winning.
Goals: Under 1.5 goals at 7/4
A goal either way would not be a massive surprise, but two might just be too much for these teams to manage between them when in truth both managers would be satisfied with a first point of the season.
RequestABet: Perez 1+ shots on target & Kenedy 2+ shots on targat at 12/1
A tough one if you're going along the goalless draw line, but Newcastle should have the bulk of possession throughout the game against a packed Cardiff defence - that brings pot shots fully into the equation and these are two likely candidates to try their luck.
Cardiff v Newcastle Opta stats
- Cardiff City have lost each of their last 10 league meetings with Newcastle, their longest ever losing run against a single opponent in league history.
- Newcastle’s current run of 10 successive league wins against Cardiff is their longest winning run against a single opponent in league history.
- Cardiff’s last league victory against Newcastle was back in February 1981 in the old second division, winning 1-0 thanks to a Peter Kitchen strike. However, they have beaten Newcastle as recently as 2014, winning 2-1 at St James’ Park in an FA Cup match.
- Cardiff have won eight of their 10 home league games so far in 2018 (D1 L1), though these were all in the Championship last season.
- Newcastle have lost their last three away league games – they’ve never lost four in a row on the road under current manager Rafael Benitez.
- Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie has had a hand in three goals in his last two league games against Cardiff (1 goal, 2 assists).
- Newcastle’s Christian Atsu has scored in both of his previous league appearances against Cardiff, in both Championship games in 2016-17.
- In all competitions, Cardiff manager Neil Warnock is winless in his last nine matches against Newcastle (W0 D2 L7), since a 1-0 win as Sheffield United boss in November 2006.
- Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has never lost against Neil Warnock in five previous meetings in all competitions, winning each of the last four in a row since 1-1 draw between Sheffield United and Liverpool on the opening day of the 2006-07 Premier League season.
- Since leaving Liverpool at the end of the 2009-10 season, Rafael Benitez has drawn one and lost five of his six away Premier League matches against newly promoted sides, losing all three as Newcastle manager (against Norwich in April 2016 and Huddersfield and Brighton last season).
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