Cardiff vs QPR (preview)
Queens Park Rangers are the visitors to Ninian Park on Friday night for the televised game against Cardiff City. John Gregory`s Rs travel on the back of some impressive results which has seen them climb into a respectable mid-table position. Back-to-back wins over Crystal Palace and Luton along with a 3-3 draw with West Brom with the Rs netting 13 goals in the last 5 matches.
Dexter Blackstock is one QPR player to watch out for, the former Southampton striker has 6 goals for the season while Jimmy Smith, a promising 19 year old striker on loan from Chelsea, has 3 in the last 2 games. Another recognisable face in the QPR ranks is that of former Cardiff fans favourite Gareth Ainsworth. 'Animal` as he was affectionately known at Ninian Park won fans acclaim after a series of whole-hearted and determined performances while Cardiff were struggling at the end of the 2002-03 season. Lennie Lawrence promised him a contract but then released him. The direct winger has since proved he is certainly Championship standard.
Cardiff have only one fit full-back available for the clash after James Chambers returned to Watford. This leaves Dave Jones very short of options, the one he has talked about in the press is the inclusion of highly-rated youngster Chris Gunter for his first league start but more likely is that Joe Ledley will move to left back with McNaughton on the right while Paul Parry and Flood/Kamara will provide midfield width.
Cardiff`s home form has been exceptional so far this season with only WBA and Derby County leaving with a point and City will be further buoyed by the gritty performance that saw them beat Burnley.
Dave Jones has pleaded with fans not to stay at home and watch on TV but to get to Ninian Park and create the atmosphere that has aided City`s season. Very few opposing teams relish the trip to Cardiff and the live showing may detract from attendance and atmosphere.
A winnable game for Cardiff, all predictions so far in the forum going for a City win…