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Cardiff should get promotion, but my money would be on Swansea. They are more of a team unit.


ROBBIE SAVAGE is tipping Swansea City to eclipse arch-rivals Cardiff and clinch automatic promotion to the Premier League.

The former Wales midfielder, who is booed every time he appears against the Swans following his barbs against John Toshack, claims Brendan Rodgers' men are more of a 'team' than Dave Jones' fourth-placed Bluebirds.

Derby skipper Savage (pictured above) delivered his Championship verdict as he gets ready to bring his Rams side to Cardiff City Stadium for what is a must-win showdown for Jones' men tomorrow.

While Cardiff meet Derby, the Swans travel to Preston looking to turn up the heat on second-placed Norwich as the business end of the season kicks in.

Savage admits he fully expected Cardiff to finish in the top two, given the glut of talent in Jones' star-studded squad, but believes they will miss out to their biggest rivals.

"Yes, I'd have thought Cardiff would have got automatic promotion with their squad," said Savage. "And they will be disappointed if they don't get that second place. Cardiff have got a lot of high-profile strikers and it is going to be interesting to see which one of the two finishes higher and maybe get to the Premier League."

But he admitted: "If I was a betting man, I would put my money on Swansea because I think they are more of a team unit.

"Cardiff are more equipped for the Premier League because of the individual players they have got .... Craig Bellamy, Jay Bothroyd and Michael Chopra.

"Dave Jones has also managed in the Premier League, but I still think Swansea have got the better chance."

Cardiff have only taken two points out of a possible 12 from their last four matches against Millwall, Barnsley, Crystal Palace and Ipswich, putting a dent in their aspirations of a top two spot.

Swansea have also stuttered, losing to Savage's Derby and Scunthorpe and drawing at home to Watford, before bouncing back with that Franco Borini inspired Liberty Stadium victory over Nottingham Forest.

Teams right down to Portsmouth in 13th spot will still harbour hopes of the play-offs at least, but the automatic spots look like going to runaway leaders Queens Park Rangers plus one of Norwich, Swansea or Cardiff.

"It's amazing, no-one seems to want to grab that second promotion place," said Savage. "When teams have got eight games to go you find the pressure is suddenly on.

"When it was easy to win, suddenly it is not so and you are beginning to see that with some of the leading half-dozen teams in the Championship."

But Savage says his ideal scenario is to see a Welsh 1-2-3 in the coming weeks, with one of Cardiff or Swansea also going up via the Wembley play-offs and home town club Wrexham getting back into the Football League.

"I'd like nothing more than to see Cardiff and Swansea each in the Premier League," said Savage.

"Throw into that Wrexham doing great in the Conference and Welsh football is on the up, fantastic."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 1, 2011
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