Cardiff vs Southampton (preview)
Cardiff City entertain Southampton tonight in a bid to secure 5 consecutive wins. So far, only West Brom have left Ninian Park with a point this season and the league leaders stretched their lead at the top to 6 points with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace. Southampton have not quite lived up to their promotion candidates label yet sitting in 10th place and having lost their last two games to QPR and away at Leicester 3-2 at the weekend. The Saints have scored in every game bar a 0-0 draw against WBA but can be vulnerable at the back, with Cardiff netting 16 goals in their last 5 games - expect to see goals tonight. Southampton do possess some quality players, most notably their Polish International striker Gregorz Rasiak with 8 league goals to his name this season. Inigo Idiakez and John Viafara make up a balanced midfield and in George Burley they have an expereinced manager who will not fear the league leaders. The Saints are without former Hearts winger Rudi Skacel, who scored his first league goal against Leicester, with a foot injury. Welsh teenage sensation Gareth Bale will face a late fitness test on a thigh injury, but with Burley already worried about burn-out in the young Welshman he is likely to miss the game against his hometown club. Southampton are facing somewhat of an injury problem at present with Djamal Belmadi ruled out for months and added to the already lengthy injury list, including David Prutton, Nathan Dyer and Darren Powell, may mean that Skacel, Bale or the returning Kenwyne Jones may be risked without being at full fitness.
Riccy Scimeca, fresh from his winner against Palace, is expected to recover from knocks to both ankles in the past 7 days, good news for City with Scimeca in excellent form and in the best scoring run of his career: 3 goals in 3 and 4 already for the season. Michael Chopra should also be fit to start before serving a 1 match ban against Norwich at the weekend after accruing 5 yellow cards. So Dave Jones is able to stick with his preferred starting line-up again with Paul Parry out of position yet bang in form on the right.
With Cardiff currently riding high, another near sell-out crowd is expected with tickets selling at a rate of 1 every 10 secons yesterday, and whilst Southampton have not sold their full allocation, 1100 will make the Tuesday night trip North so a crowd of just under 20000 is expected.
C'mon the Bluebirds !
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