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Crewe vs Cardiff (preview)

Crewe vs Cardiff (preview)

Crewe simply must take maximum points from this encounter to stand any chance of avoiding relegation to League 1. The Railwaymen are 7 points adrift of safety with a vastly inferior goal difference. Their task is comlicated further by the Brighton vs Sheffield Wednesday game, where Crewe will need Brighton to win but not collect any more points as Brighton are currently level with Crewe in 22nd and 23rd positions respectively.

Cardiff however have only pride to play for collectively although several individual players will be trying to earn a contract for next season by showing Dave Jones their credentials.

Already down to the bare bones of his squad, DJ is waiting on the fitness of Willie Boland and Darren Purse who were both replaced on friday with shin and hamstring problems, both have a chance of starting. Ideally Thompson and / or Koumas would be rested having survived late fitness tests on friday but that is unlikely to be possible. Jeff Whitley and Neil Cox are likely to come into the starting line-up and Joe Ledley should continue his apprenticeship at left-back.

Cameron Jerome must be looking to dispel fears over his committment by turning in a good performance, any lack of motivation or dedication will not be looked on favourably by prospective Premiership managers with Jones reportedly happy to let Jerome leave in the summer to raise funds for a squad building programme.

The game between these sides ended in a 6-1 thrashing of Crewe in a finishing masterclass by the Bluebirds. A repeat performance would help City end the season on a high but Crewe will be determined to scap for the points.

Dario Gradi is expected to name the same side as has started the previous nine games. Madjid Bougherra went off injured during Saturday's draw at Crystal Palace but the Algerian defender should be fit enough to start.

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Writer:Bluebirdshroom
Date:Sunday April 16 2006
Time: 12:46PM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 20 14 1 5 43 25
2 Brighton 20 12 6 2 42 19
3 Reading 20 11 4 5 37 2
4 Huddersfield 20 10 3 7 33 -2
5 Leeds Utd 20 10 2 8 32 1
6 Sheff Wed 20 9 4 7 31 0
7 Birmingham 20 8 7 5 31 -2
8 Norwich 20 9 3 8 30 3
9 Fulham 20 7 8 5 29 9
10 Derby County 19 8 5 6 29 4
11 Barnsley 20 8 4 8 28 4
12 Preston 20 8 4 8 28 2
13 Aston Villa 20 6 10 4 28 2
14 Bristol City 20 8 3 9 27 3
15 Forest 19 7 4 8 25 1
16 Brentford 20 7 4 9 25 -1
17 Ipswich 20 6 7 7 25 -2
18 Q.P.R. 20 6 5 9 23 -9
19 Wolves 20 5 7 8 22 -3
20 Burton 20 5 7 8 22 -5
21 Blackburn 20 5 5 10 20 -8
22 Cardiff 20 5 5 10 20 -12
23 Wigan 20 4 6 10 18 -6
24 Rotherham 20 2 4 14 10 -25
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