Crystal Palace vs Cardiff City (Team News)
Cardiff City look set to recall Scottish full-back Kevin McNaughton to the line-up for the Carling Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace after he recovered from the calf injury that`s seen him miss the last three games. McNaughton`s defensive solidity, and his willingness to support down the right flanks are key to our system so his return is a welcome boost.
Kenny Miller will spearhead the attack, either alone or alongside Earnshaw, Gestede or Mason. However, Irishman Mason is likely to be included on the left with Craig Conway again consigned to bench duty, while Rudy Gestede is struggling with an ankle problem.
Stephen McPhail is also back in contention, following his illness but looks likely to be named on the bench with Whittingham and Gunnarsson certain of starting positions and Filip Kiss also available. The majority of the starting Xi will be well rested having been left out of the 4-2 FA Cup defeat by WBA. Andrew Taylor, Ben Turner, Whittingham and David Marshall all look certain to return.
Crystal Palace claim to have been hit by a sickness bug in the week leading up to the match, with defensive trio Paddy McCarthy, Anthony Gardner and Nathaniel Clyne, and midfielders Mile Jedinak and Sean Scannell amongst those thought to be affected. Whether this is true, or some pre-meditated media mind-games is not clear. At least some of the above players are sure to feature.
Full-back Mustapha Dumbuya in unavailable, having been cup tied when appearing for Doncaster Rovers earlier in the competition while fellow loan signing Dekel Keinan has now returned to the Bluebirds - though looks certain to exit the club in the near future.