Cardiff City Face Diffficult Donny Threat
Blake, Hudson, Gyepes, McNaughton
Burke, Olofinjana, Drinkwater, Whittingham
Blake, Hudson, Gyepes, McNaughton
Cardiff City host Doncaster Rovers on Saturday in a match tipped to be a sell-out, and one that will see the unveiling of new loan recruit Craig Bellamy to his hometown fans.
With the firepower at our disposal, and after the capture of Bellamy, many expect Cardiff City to challenge for the title and brush aside many teams in the Championship. However, that simply will not be the case. We do have a strong squad, but many are loan players just getting to know their team-mates, while we will also be unfamiliar with the formation, if, as expected, Dave Jones opts for a more fluid set-up in order to incorporate our best players.
Doncaster Rovers arrive ahead of the Bluebirds in the embryonic Championship table, and are, like ourselves, unbeaten. An opening day victory over Preston NE, was followed up by a draw against Bristol City - courtesy of a last minute Billy Sharp penalty. In Sean O`Driscoll, they have one of the best managers in the league, and have flourished since joining the championship, playing some neat and pleasing football.
Donny beat us 2-0 up at their place last season, while we were very fortunate to win at CCS, courtesy of a weak (but hugely important) Bothroyd header. They are not to be underestimated and have players like Sharp, Lockwood and the experienced Neil Sullivan who all have good pedigree and can cause us problems. Most influential is Welsh midfielder Brian Stock - he will look to exploit gaps in the middle of the park and can be very dangerous in setting up counter-attacks or from set-pieces.
Cardiff City`s biggest problems will be in the selection and style. Clearly, Doncaster will look to contain the likes of Bellamy and Chopra, whilst hitting us on the break and a gung-ho attitude will not help us. City must be disciplined, and punish Doncaster if the push too high up, or if they drop deep to concede possession. Jones will look to his defence to cut out the sloppy mistakes that saw Sheffield United and Derby County fire past David Marshall. Gabor Gyepes, and Mark Hudson were both caught ball-watching and will need to improve - Anthony Gerrard will not be happy to warm the bench for long.
If Cardiff City can keep our nerve, be disciplined and keep things tight at the back, the goals will surely come. There is a real buzz at the club at the moment and if things go right, we could end up putting 6 goals on someone before long (Bristol City/Derby County last year!). If things go badly, the fans and players become frustrated, as all opposing teams will try to do, we could find this season a real struggle. Vital Cardiff is predicting a 3-0 win for the Bluebirds - hopefully that confidence is not misguided! Click here to leave your prediction and read others in the Vital Cardiff forum.
Cardiff City fans will (almost) always give 100% backing to our players on the pitch, you can also support a fantastic cause by donating to the Craig Bellamy Foundation. Further information about Bellamy`s excellent work to promote footballing and academic development for African youngsters is available via the links. Please help support if you can.
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