Cardiff City Must Beware Burkey's Brilliance
Cardiff City will entertain Birmingham City tonight with the Bluebirds looking to extend the impressive home form. However, in Birmingham City we will face tough opposition. The Blues are quality, if inconsistent, and will surely be up for this game.
Crucial to Cardiff City's success this season has been the influx of pace, creativity and unpredictability with Craig Noone, Craig Bellamy, Tommy Smith and Nicky Maynard all offering plwnty in attack. It could well be argued that last season's mistake was to fail to replace diminutive winger Chris Burke - who departed to join Brum after his contract expired.
Burke was the one player, of the many who departed that summer, that Malky Mackay really wished he could have kept. However, his wage demands and desire to be (albeit only very slightly) closer to his son in Glasgow - saw him move on. He has excelled at Birmingham, and remains a real handful in the Championship.
Last season, it was Lee Naylor who kept Burke expertly under wraps. Yes you read that right. The home game against the Blues came at the start of December, with Naylor forced to deputise at left-back. On that day, Burke was disappointing and had very little impact in a game in which Kenny Miller scored the only goal to give City a valuable 1-0 win.
Burke scored the only goal of the game as Birmingham beat Brighton on the weekend - a stunning strike from 25 yards - worthy of winning any game. He is known to chip in with goals, but Burke's main strength is his dribbling and close control - which are excellent. If Cardiff City are to keep Birmingham quiet tonight - Andrew Taylor's battle with Burke will be an important contest.