Date:Friday January 16 2009
Cardiff City are in good form going into a tricky encounter away at high-flying Birmingham City but after some spirited performances especially away at Reading - the Bluebirds need fear no-one.
Unbeaten in 9 fixtures, and having won 5 of those against some difficult opposition - Cardiff City sit 5th in the table and have been beaten fewer times than any other side in the league (see here). They will be without departed loanees Wayne Routledge and Michael Chopra although Ross McCormack is back from injury and ex-Rangers wideman Chris Burke has recently joined and could be on the bench.
City look set to continue with Ledley and Rae operating in the centre of midfield - sure to be a key battle. Darren Purse is a former Blues player, but will not start while Enckelman and Whittingham as former Aston Villa players can expect a warm welcome. Enckelman in oparticular will be of interest to Blues fans after a horrific gaffe gifted Birmingham a goal against Villa from their own throw.
Birmingham City are one of the 'big boys' in the Championship and have thrown their considerable financial clout around this transfer window with loan moves for Lee Bowyer and Hameur Bouazza as well as a high profile prusuit of Rangers frontman and long-time Cardiff City target Kris Boyd.
Third in the table, the Blues are fighting for automatic promotion but have struggled in recent weeks against some of the top Championship teams. Preston North End and Reading both scored victories over the Blues while Wolves were also victorious in the cup game against their fierce rivals.
Nevertheless they remain a very good side and one of just two teams to beat us at home this season. Kevin Phillips is still a potent threat while a very strong defensive unit and newly bolstered midfield will cause problems.
Within the Birmingham City squad is former Cardiff City striker Cameron Jerome - the pacy forward has 6 league goals to his name and is a candidate to start against his former club. Not so sure of a place is Marcus Bent who made a last-minute U-turn to sign for Birmingham City when he was supposed to be in Cardiff for a medical - he was given a 'special' reception at Ninian Park.
Both sides would love a win and Cardiff City need to keep both eyes on this game rather than the glamour FA Cup tie against Arsenal in a week. VitalCardiff predicts a 1-1 draw, probably a good result for the Bluebirds....Click here to view others' predictions and leave your own in the Vital Cardiff Forum!
Date:Friday January 16 2009
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