MICHAEL Laudrup reckons Cardiff City will be one of the favourites for relegation next season — but admits Swansea City might be too.
Laudrup believes Cardiff will be driven by a desire to match the feats of Swansea next term following their promotion to the Premier League.
But the Swansea manager says it is too early to start thinking about the first ever top-flight Welsh derbies — because there are still six games of this season left. "Cardiff will be the newcomers next season, and three clubs coming up to the top division will always be the favourites to go down," Laudrup said.
"That is the same in Denmark, Italy or Spain — the teams who come up are written off, because the stats show that nearly always one goes and sometimes two.
"You just have to accept that for a couple of years at least, and maybe we will be one of the favourites to go down again in August because we have not been in the Premier League for long.
"I hope we are not one of the favourites, but you have to earn that right and that can take quite a few years. We will have to see what the experts say."
Two derby games will help decide both Swansea and Cardiff's fate next season, when Malky Mackay's team will hope to emulate the success of their nearest rivals.
"Of course they will want to match us — when you see the neighbour doing well, you always to do even better," Laudrup added.
"That competition is a good thing, but I'm not thinking about whether we will finish above Cardiff next season.
"We have still got six games this season starting against Southampton, so we have a lot of work to do before we think about next season's games.
"I know for the fans the derbies will be two very interesting games, but we want to keep our eyes on this season."
Cardiff owner Vincent Tan has pledged to invest £25 million in Mackay's squad following promotion. The Malaysian said: "We'd like to follow the Swansea model by signing players like Michu for £2 million.
"We could go and buy 12 of them.
"If you get a dozen Michus, you wouldn't do too badly."
Laudrup responded to that idea with a smile.
"Maybe from a tactical aspect that would not be so good," the Dane said.
"Maybe that team would be a little too offensive."