Cardiff City vs Blackpool (Preview)
Cardiff City play host to Blackpool this weekend when nothing less than a win would be enough to continue their unlikely quest for a play-off position.
Blackpool are probably safe from the drop as they sit on 50 points in 17th position in the Championship. Leicester City are only 3 points away but plenty of other teams are below Blackpool and with a worse goal difference. However, the Seasiders will want to pick up points to ensure their survival in the first season back at this level since 1978.
Results have not been good recently for Blackpool and they have slipped down the table. Without a win in 7 games, they have been picking up points regularly and in fact 5 of those 7 games ended up with the scores level - including a point away at promotion chasing Stoke City.
Ben Burgess leads the scoring charts for 'Pool while highly rated defender Kaspars Gorkss is a threat from set-pieces. Another key man for Pool is creative midfielder Wes Hoolahan who has also contributed 5 league goals this season.
Cardiff City face a mounting task to keep up with the play-off pack. They have been in good form recently and picked up some impressive results. However, the fixtures have piled up and this third game in under a week will stretch the threadbare squad to its limit.
A midweek draw away at Ipswich Town made it 9 games unbeaten (including two FA Cup wins) whilst they have only conceeded 3 goals in that run.
Dave Jones will again need to rotate his weary squad, with the midfield especially strong. Ledley, McPhail, Rae, Scimeca, Ramsey, Whittingham and Sinclair will all be vying for starts while Jones may opt for a 5 man midfield with only Thompson and Hasselbaink available in attack.
This could well be a tricky game, Cardiff need to win it but Blackpool are a stubborn side and would welcome a draw to virtually ensure their survival. Unfortunately, Vital Cardiff sees this as a bridge too far for Cardiff and they will have to settle for a point and Championship football again next season, 2-2.
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