Date:Monday December 25 2006
Cardiff City entertain the pilgrims in this festive fixture looking to imporve on a poor run of form for the Bluebirds. With Boxing Day fixtures worked our to pair nearby teams, Plymouth face the pretty long trrip North and back West and arrive in eratic form.
The Pilgrims have had a mixed season and were recentrly looking strong play-off contenders but recent 3-0 heavy defeats by Birmingham and Plymouth have seen them drop off the pace into 12th place.
Nick Chadwick (groin), Paul Connolly ( hamstring ), Lee Hodges ( knee ) and Bojan Djordjic (head) are all out for the travelling Pilgrims with captain Paul Wotton ruled out with a long-term problem.
Plymouth do, however, possess a potent strike force in veteran Barry Hayles and lively youngster Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Cardiff will need to be watchful on the counter-attack.
The Bluebirds are in a terrible patch of form but a 0-0 draw with Leicester showed some improvement on recent performances and the return of Kerra Gilbert and Stephen McPhail was a massive boost for the team.
Riccardo Scimeca was taken to hospital with 'chest pains' at half time, Scimeca was coughing up blood but his lung injury was not as serious as feared. Nefvertheless, Scimeca and McPhail are doubtful and with Willo Flood also ruled out with a thigh problem, central modfield looks a big problem for Cardiff.
Teenager Darcy Blake did a good job at Leicester but needs an experienced head alongside him. If neither Scimeca or McPhail is fit then Darren Purse of Joe Ledley may switch infield or fellow youngster Nick McKoy could start his first league game.
Cardiff really need a win to even keep pace with the play-off pack after their worrying slide in recent weeks. Hopefully the big home crowd can get them the goal they need to kick-start the season and raise the confidence levels back. The performance at Leicester suggested things are improving - all we need now are the goals !
Date:Monday December 25 2006
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|Howe: Praying to the football gods
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