Date:Friday December 8 2006
Ipswich Town are the visitors to Ninian Park for this weekend`s Championship clash and neither team are enjoying any form of late. The tractor boys enjoyed a good start to the season but have faltered of late and find themselves down in 17th place and with only a derby win vs Norwich in their last 7 games. Ipswich will be without their leading scorer and ex-Bluebird Alan Lee for the clash due to suspension so young prospect Danny Haynes could start or Billy Clarke may play as the lone striker in a 4-5-1 formation. Ipswich have some talented players in their squad, most notably the French, ex-Fulham midfielder Sylvain Legwinski who has impressed since his free transfer in August and has 4 goals to his name this season along with numerous assists.
Cardiff City find themselves slipping from their previous position at the top of the league after picking up just 5 points from the last 18 on offer including crashing to a 3-0 defeat against Stoke. The Bluebirds have failed to score in 5 consecutive games (only 6 all season!) and will need to break that duck soon to maintain their promotion push. Despite the poor results of late, Cardiff lie in 3rd place only 2 points behind leaders Birmingham and a win could see Cardiff regain top-spot should Birmingham and Preston draw.
Cardiff find themselves with somewhat of an injury crisis at the moment and their threadbare squad is already stretched to breaking point. Paul Parry this week joined Gilbert and Flood on the sidelines while Loovens is just returning to full fitness and Stephen McPhail is suspended. Key to Cardiff`s success has been the settled and well balanced midfield of Ledley-McPhail-Scimeca-Parry but this will become Cooper-Ledley-Scimeca-Kamara as injuries and suspensions force Dave Jones` hand.
Michael Chopra up-front is in his longest barren spell so far for Cardiff but not for the lack of trying. The Geordie hitman has missed several chances recently but is working as hard as ever and the goals will return for him soon. Expect to see some youngsters making up the bench with Johnson and Campbell with Darcy Blake, Chris Gunter, Nick McKoy the most likely candidates.
The game will be a tough one with both sides lacking in confidence but Cardiff could really do with a win to lift themselves back up and will look to do so in front of a packed Ninian Park as those retaining a ticket stub from this game will be eligible to buy early tickets for the FA Cup 3rd round tie against Tottenham Hotspur.
I`d take a scrappy 1-0…… click here to post your prediction.
Date:Friday December 8 2006
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