Cardiff City vs Barnsley: Final Day Looms
Cardiff City are, mercifully, at home on the last day of the season and face a Barnsley side in fine form since the last time the teams met. At the time of the semi-final, the Tykes were mhyred in the relegation dogfight and following a gruelling 90 minutes at Wembley, including that morale-sapping miss from Odejayi - it could easily have been the case that Cardiff may have been able to send Barnsley down with a final day win.
That was not to be and 3-0 victories over Charlton Athletic and Watford see Barnsley mathematically safe already and if they were to beat Cardiff, they would finish comfortably in mid-table.
For Cardiff City, the game offers little. It would be great to find some form and sparkle ahead of the FA Cup final, but who wants to pick up an injury or suspension now. Returning players can showcase what fitness they have, Paul Parry and Robbie Fowler included, and make a case for a squad place on May 17th.
Barnsley also have nothing really to play for. Pride of course is at stake and they would probably enjoy a revenge victory over Cardiff City. I imagine though that that would be a hollow victory and can;t see the Tykes being especially fired up. They will however, want to impress any hardcore fans who made the long trip South on the last day of the season.
The key for Cardiff City is solidity, especially at the back. An alarming 9 goals conceeded in 3 games is poor preparation and a worrying statistic. That needs to change first. The midfield can also play for their Wembley place. I'd say McPhail, Ledley and Rae are certain starters, with Ramsey, Sinclair and Whittingham competing for the remaining wide position.