Cardiff vs Crystal Palace (preview)
Cardiff City host Crystal Palace on Saturday 30th December looking to improve on a poor series of results in recent weeks. City have picked up 4 draws in the last 5 games and have slipped quickly down the table into 5th place. A Boxing Day draw with Plymouth showed a drastic improvement in form and City will look to push on in another home fixture.
Crystal Palace have had a poor season and will be bitterly disappointed to be languishing in 18th place with little chance of a promotion push to regain their Premiership status. Boss Peter Taylor has seen his side lose 2 of their last 4 with the one win coming over Sunderland just before Christmas.
Crystal Palace have ex-Cardiff wideman Jobi McAnuff in their ranks, the winger scoring in Palace's Boxing Day draw with Southampton. McAnuff left City amid severe financial trouble and the £100k secured in his transfer helped City to avoid administration. In Clinton Morrison, Shefki Kuqi and James Scowcroft, the Eagles have a formidable forward line and will be capable of scoring goals in the encounter.
Cardiff however have Glenn Loovens and Kerrea Gilbert back to full fitness allowing Dave Jones to field his strongest XI. Alan Wright will make way for Gilbert whilst Willo Flood and Roger Johnson will be amongst the substitutes for City. Luigi Glombard and Andrea Ferretti are sidelined for the Bluebirds.
Steve Thompson retuned to scoring ways with a brace against Plymouth, his first since October and Michael Chopra will be keen to improve on a disappointing personal game, the Geordie hitman with just 1 goal in 9 games now.
A big game for both clubs and it will be difficult for two under-pressure clubs to grind out a result. Palace are especially vulnerable on their travels and this presents Cardiff with an excellent chance to kick-start the season.