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Premier League Preview: Cardiff City - Southampton

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Premier League Preview: Cardiff City - Southampton
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Premier League Preview: Cardiff City - Southampton
Malky Mackay will hope that focus around Cardiff City switches away from off-field matters when his side hosts Southampton on Thursday.

The Scot had feared Saturday's match against Liverpool, which ended in a 3-1 defeat, would be his last as Bluebirds manager after disagreements escalated between him and owner Vincent Tan.

However, a temporary truce appears to have been called while the two work out their differences and Mackay will hope for some festive cheer against a Saints outfit which has not won in six Premier League matches.

After a promising start to the campaign, which saw Southampton lose just one of its opening 11 games, Mauricio Pochettino's men have stuttered lately and slipped to ninth in the table but may fancy their chances of stopping the slide at the Cardiff City Stadium, with the hosts having won only once in their last seven matches.

While the sides have met regularly in the Championship over recent years, this will be their first fixture in the top flight, and Pochettino is eager for his team to show their resilience.

"We have to keep on working and believing as a team," he told the club's official website. "In the past we had a run of seven games winning when we were looking up but now it is the opposite. We need to keep working."

Mackay will take comfort from his side's home form going into the game, with Cardiff having earned 11 of its 17 points at home.

Luke Shaw (illness) and Nathaniel Clyne (hamstring) look set to return for Southampton, but Victor Wanyama (calf), Artur Boruc (hand) and Guly Do Prado (knee) will miss out.

Cardiff however has just one injury doubt, with Craig Bellamy unlikely to feature because of a knee injury.

"Craig has a little knee issue right now," Mackay told Wales Online. "It's an ongoing situation. He has had a number of operations on the knee over his career and he is being checked out."

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