Sunderland vs Cardiff (preview)
Cardiff City travel to the Stadium of Light to play Sunderland in a midweek tie. After bringing in a new manager in Roy Keane, the Black Cats have undergone somewhat of a transition bringing in many new faces including Welsh defender Lewin Nyatanga on loan. Sunderland scored a last-gasp winner over bottom side Hull at the weekend to make it 2 consecutive wins. They possess quality throughout the squad but seem unable to pull themselves out of the mid-table quagmire. The Black Cats are also experiencing injury problems at the moment and will again be without key players for the visit of Cardiff. Nosworthy, Elliot, Caldwell and Kenny Cunningham are all missing as well as right-back Stephen Wright. This means that midfielder Dean Whitehead may be asked to deputise as a makeshift right-back. Another player missing for tonight`s game is former Cardiff skipper Graham Kavanagh. The Bluebirds first £1million signing was injured shortly after becoming one of Keane`s first signings. Ross Wallace is unavailable following his sending off at Hull at the weekend booked for over-celebrating his injury-time winner so Tobias Hysen will come in for Wallace on the left flank for Sunderland. Dwight Yorke will play against the Bluebirds in a midfield role.
Cardiff have 1 injury problem in Glenn Loovens, the Dutch defender has been ever-present when available but scans revealed a possible chipped bone behind large swelling on his eye after a clash with Derby`s Steve Howard. Dave Jones will turn to Roger Johnson, who has performed admirably every time he has been called upon and will be looking to cement a regular first team place. Kerrea Gilbert is still suspended so Kevin McNaughton will play left-back with Watford loanee James Chambers on the right.
Michael Chopra has revealed how much scoring at Sunderland would mean to him. The Geordie hitman is raring to go after missing several chances against Derby but is as determined as ever and will relish his chance against his hometown club`s fierce rivals.
The game will be a tough test for Cardiff with some pundits thinking Cardiff are beginning to slip after dropping 5 of the last 6 points but the performance against Derby was good and Sunderland are a team still trying to gel and with some injury problems. All three points are there for the taking and with both teams with a point to prove it should be a good game. Expect goals.