Stoke vs Cardiff (preview)
Cardiff City head to the Brittannia Stadium tonight to face in-form Stoke, the Potters have rapidly climbed the table in recent weeks and now lie in 6th place. Stoke have won their last 4 games without conceding a goal and look in excellent shape losing just 2 games in 10 including a 5-0 hammering of Norwich City. After a relatively slow start their season was revitalised with the loan capture on Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie who has added a creative side and balance to the team, Hendrie has 3 goals himself and has really shown his quality at this level, he has also just extended his loan deal until January. Patrik Berger has also just joined up with Stoke, the Czech midfielder snapped up after falling out with Martin O`Neill at Villa.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis is waiting on the fitness of Hendrie as well as left-back Danny Higginbotham and on-loan Portsmouth defender Andy Griffin. Griffin may be set to return to Portsmouth after the game to cover their long injury list. Also returning to the side will be top-scorer Riccardo Fuller after suspension.
Cardiff will be looking to resurrect their excellent early season form that has faltered slightly in recent weeks. They failed to score for only the 3rd time last Saturday and Michael Chopra is now without a goal in 3. Glenn Loovens is set to miss out again with the groin injury that ruled him out of the draw with Sheffield Wednesday so Roger Johnson will deputise. Willo Flood is nearing full fitness after a thigh injury but will probably not make the squad while Riccy Scimeca is recovered from a knock to his ankle and will start.
Stoke are in excellent form and lie in 6th so will be expecting to do well, a situation Cardiff find easier to cope with. Stoke have a very good side and have come on leaps and bounds recently but the underdog tag suits Cardiff. Expect a renewed passion in the Cardiff team and a workmanlike performance. VitalCardiff predict a 2-0 win for Cardiff after a solid display.