Date:Thursday April 3 2008
Despite recent injuries to Paul Parry and Kevin McNaughton, and Hasselbaink's 3 game suspension - it looks likely that Cardiff City manager Dave Jones will be able to field the same side that breezed past Premiership side Middlesbrough in the last round.
The back four is clearly the Jones' favoured line-up with McNaughton, Capaldi, Loovens and Johnson.
Up-front, Hasselbaink and Parry have been the only partenership to impress consistently this season. However, midfield poses more problems for the Bluebirds.
In midfield, we have strength and depth. In fact, now Joe Ledley (a leading candidate for player of the season) is available after missing the quarter-final with a hamstring tear. Who would he replace, if as expected, he starts? Ledley has not looked on top form since returning from the injury, but is likely to start.
Aaron Ramsey seems the obvious choice, the youngster has excelled in every appearance this season but is protected and guarded jealously by Dave Jones. McPhail could make way for the talented Ramsey, a fan-pleasing decision, but improbable at best.
Whittingham produced a man of the match performance against Boro, but prefers opposition like that to the more dogged Barnsley. Gavin Rae has established himself as an integral member of the team and performs a crucial function in the engine room.
Riccardo Scimeca could come in for Rae, his experience and control would be a useful asset in this game and Rae has played a lot of football in a short space of time, including a return to International football with Scotland.
Trevor Sinclair put in a MOTM performance against West Brom in midweek, he is pushing for a place. Could Joe Ledley be pushed back to left-back to accomodate another in-form player such as Ramsey? Would you sacrifice Capaldi to include the youngster out-of-position at right-back?
Ramsey is not even sure of a place on the bench, in fact he was ommitted from the matchday squad to face West Brom and Sinclair's performance could see him miss out again.
Despite the decisions still to be made, be VERY suprised if Cardiff City do not line up as follows:
Enckelman, Capaldi, McNaughton, Johnson, Loovens, Ledley, Whittingham, McPhail, Rae, Hasselbaink, Parry.
Subs (from): Oakes, Purse, Sinclair, Scimeca, Thompson, Ramsey.
Someone has to miss out, I don't envy Dave Jones telling them so.
Date:Thursday April 3 2008
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