Cardff vs Derby County (preview)
Derby County are having a mixed season so far. In Steve Howard and on-loan Arsenal sttriker Arturo Lupoli - they have strikers who will score and have scored 11 between them so far this season. However recent losses against Plymouth and Birmingham has slowed them and they currently sit in 11th position with 18 points from their 13 games. Darren Moore is suspended for the Rams which leaves Billy Davies a problem at centre half with Dean Leacock returning from a head injury. If Leacock is not fit (Davies will be reluctant to risk a head injury) - Michael Johnson will be the only recognised centre-half available to Derby. In addition: Canadian striker Paul Peschisolido and midfielder Bob Malcolm are also out for the Rams. Seth Johnson should play in midfield but the talented midfielder can be inconsistent and lacks commitment. Derby certainly have the players to hurt Cardiff and have picked up 4 away wins already this season including Wolves.
Off-field activities have dominated the Cardiff press this week with a change in Chairman, new investors and positive news about the new stadium but Dave Jones will be more intent on returning to winning ways against Derby following the 1-0 reversal at Norwich last week. Michael Chopra is available again after suspension and will replace Luigi Glombard and add much needed impetus up front. Kevin McNaughton could be fit to replace the suspended Kerrea Gilbert but if not Joe Ledley will play at left back and Malvin Kamara on the right flank. The loss at Norwich came on the back of 5 striaght wins and Cardiff have been irresistible at home so far, dropping just 2 points against West Brom. An early goal would be welcome to settle any nerves but as long as they put the off-field pressures behind them - Cardiff can and possibly should win this game. Billy Davies will make it difficult but with a near full strngth side at home - Cardiff will be dissoppointed without maximum points.
Preston could join Cardiff at the top of the Championship if they beat Burnley tonight but City only need to focus on their own game. Another big crowd is expected at Ninian Park and Sam Hammam will be there for an emotional farewell to the fans. Lets hope nothing detracts from the team performance.