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Page last updated at 00:17 GMT, Wednesday, 2 February 2011

De Vries' Welsh derby challenge to Swansea City

npower Championship - Swansea City v Cardiff City
Venue: The Liberty Stadium Date: Sunday, 6 February Kick-off: 1315 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One & online, listen live on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and second-half commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and live text commentary online


Dorus De Vries
Dorus De Vries has a superb record of 14 clean sheets this season

Dorus De Vries inspired Swansea City to their first away win in two months - then challenged his team to complete a first south Wales league derby double.

The Swans warmed up for their 54th league clash with rivals Cardiff City on Sunday by easing to a 2-0 triumph over Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

Swansea won 1-0 in Cardiff in November and now hope to seal the first double in the fixture's 82 year history.

De Vries said: "It is a special derby and let's hope we can do the double."

The Dutch goalkeeper made crucial saves to deny Bristol City on Tuesday as Darren Pratley stole the headlines as his double ensured Swansea's first win on the road since 4 December.

De Vries celebrated his 14th clean sheet of the season in the win at Ashton Gate as Swansea moved to into third in the Championship after a run of one defeat in six league games.

Cardiff, meanwhile, missed chances against Reading and needed a late Craig Bellamy leveller to rescue a home point in their midweek clash with the Championship's draw specialists as Cardiff dropped to fifth in the table.

Dave Jones' men are unbeaten in four but have not won away since 13 November - and the fifth-placed Bluebirds travel to Swansea without a win in Wales' second city since 1997.

Leon Britton
I want to play in the game - the whole Swansea squad wants to be involved because of how much it matters to people

Swansea City midfielder Leon Britton

Brendan Rodgers' Swans, meanwhile, have won three league successive matches at the Liberty Stadium without conceding a goal.

And De Vries insists his in-form Swans are ready to make a little derby history and be the first to do the Welsh derby double.

"Now we can we can look forward to Sunday," said the Swans stopper after their win at Bristol City.

"It is all about that game and that makes it exiting especially coming after a good victory - that gives us a boost.

"We have the chance to do the double in these derby matches for the first time.

"It is a great opportunity for us as if you look at the league table there is opportunities."

Swansea are currently a point behind second-placed Norwich City and six points behind leaders Queens Park Rangers as they chase automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Cardiff, last season's beaten Championship play-off finalists, are on 48 points so trail their Welsh neighbours by two points as they also battle for a place in the top two.

And returning Swansea hero Leon Britton hopes he has impressed boss Rodgers enough at Ashton Gate to earn a place in their side to take on Cardiff.

The 28-year-old made his first Swans start following his January return from Championship rivals Sheffield United.

"My focus now is the big derby against Cardiff - it's a game that everyone want to play in," said the midfielder.

"It's great going into that game with the Bristol win under our belt. But we know the game against Cardiff is going to be a difficult one.

"I want to play in the game - the whole Swansea squad wants to be involved because of how much it matters to people.

"All we can do is work hard in training and try and earn a place. But whoever plays, whoever doesn't, we've all got to support each other."



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see also
Bristol City 0-2 Swansea
01 Feb 11 |  Championship
Cardiff 2-2 Reading
01 Feb 11 |  Championship
Cardiff City 0-1 Swansea City
07 Nov 10 |  Championship
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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