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Newcastle United vs Cardiff City (Team News)

Cardiff City travelled up a day early in order to catch a cheaper flight to Newcastle - spending some of today training at Middlesbrough. The depleted squad will need to be well rested and on form if they are to take points from the Championship leaders - unbeaten at home this season.

Cardiff City's major problem is the central midfield area. Joe Ledley has joined Stephen McPhail on the treatment table while Gavin Rae has picked up a hamstring injury. Peter Whittingham should feature in the middle, while Aaron Wildig, Sol Taiwo and Darcy Blake are competing for the chance to partner the division's top scorer.

In defence, Mark Hudson misses out so Gyepes and Gerrard will continue. Kevin McNaughton is fit, and is expected to replace Mark Kennedy at left back.

Newcastle United will be able to call upon their new recruits to freeshen up the side meaning a debut for former Coventry City striker Leon Best. Williamson, Fitz Hall and on-loan Patrick van Aanholt will hope to feature.

Two of the Magpies' best defenders are ruled out with Steven Taylor and impressive left-back Jose Enrique currently sidelined.

Newcastle will be boosted by the returns to fitness of Danny Simpson (ankle) and Shola Ameobi (shoulder), while flying winger Jonas Gutierez (strain) is also back to full fitness.

Former Manchester United star Alan Smith faces a late fitness test on a hamstring problem, while the midfielder who was sent off at CCS earlier this season has also recently recovered from a fractured cheekbone.

Combative midfielder Joey Barton is definitely out with a foot problem, but is hoping to return to action in order to face Swansea City next Saturday.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Bluebirdshroom Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 5 2010

Time: 4:01PM


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