Date:Friday August 27 2010
Cardiff City boss Dave Jones is the happier of the two managers as we prepare to take on Portsmouth at Fratton Road and for once, we are the squad possessing far more depth than our opponents - a stark contrast to previous seasons.
Tuesday saw the surprise return of Irish midfielder Stephen McPhail - back in contention following a knee injury. He is unlikely to start but did replace Nigerian International Seyi Olofinjana, who was withdrawn as a precaution after feeling a slight thigh pull.
The influential Olofinjana is expected to play, but would be replaced by Whittingham if declared unfit, allowing the possible inclusion of either Jason Koumas or Andy Keogh on the left.
One player definitely out is striker Michael Chopra, who suffered ruptured ankle lignments after an unpunished horror tackle by Doncaster's Wayne Thomas - right in front of the referree. He will be replaced by Chris Burke, unluckily omitted against Donny but making a big impact from the bench. Craig Bellamy is also in line for a recall to the starting XI.
First choice fullbacks Kevin McNaughton and Darcy Blake have been struggling with hamstring and ankle problems respectively so Lee Naylor and Adam Matthews are on standby.
Porstmouth's major problem is a lack of numbers with the cash-strapped club desperately short of numbers, but retaining some very good players. However, much will depend on offers being accepted for players given that Aaron Mokoena, Tommy Smith, Marc Wilson and John Utaka are all tipped for an exit and attracting Premiership attention.
Pompey could only name 4 substitutes last time out and Utaka continues to struggle with a hamstring niggle. Forward David Nugent is a new concern after experiencing discmfort in his ankle last time out. He may well be asked to play with a painkilling injection for Portsmouth, given their lack of alternatives.
A gruelling extra time win (via penalties) in midweek sees a tiny Portsmouth squad tired and continue to be under pressure from outside the club. Much will depend on Steve Cotterill inspiring a 'backs-against-the-wall' attitude - hopefully Cardiff City will not be the first victims.
Date:Friday August 27 2010
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