Date:Friday January 12 2007
Cardiff City entertain Championship bottom club Southend United at Ninian Park tomorrow. Cardiff won the corresponding fixture at Roots Hall 3-0 in a televised game earlier this season with goals from Purse, Scimeca and a Simon Francis o.g.
Much has changed since then and both clubs will be disappointed to find themselves in their current position. Southend have staged a mini-revival of late losing just one of their last 6 and notching an impressive win over West Brom. Cardiff are without a win in 10 games and have drawn the last 4 league games. The last three games for City in all competitions have all ended goalless and they desperately need a goal to lift the team morale. Over 300 minutes have passed since the last City goal and they had struggled previous to Steve Thompson`s Boxing Day brace. Although performances have improved after an alarming November dip, Cardiff need wins to boost their play-off ambitions.
Southend`s season has deteriorated after a reasonable start. They lie a full 6 points from safety and have the worst goal difference in the division. All this despite a tremendous 1-0 win over Premiership leaders Manchester United in the Carling Cup. Southend will include star striker Freddie Eastwood in their squad, the striker has 7 league goals for his side this season and has attracted interest from a host of Premiership and Championship sides. They may yet lose the striker but should bag a fair price for his signature leaving them to strengthen and hopefully avoid relegation.
Both sides need a win but both have been prone to drawing recently, a result that does little to help either teams plight. Ex-Cardiff player Spencer Prior may make The Shrimpers` matchday squad but is likely to receive a hostile reception from City fans. The defender made a series of errors in his time at Cardiff, and there were questions over his commitment. Earlier this season, Prior made the quizzical suggestion that he failed to win the Ninian Park crowd over because of his English nationality.
A bold 0-0 draw with Spurs and the acquisition of Peter Whittingham should spur Cardiff to a welcome 2-0 victory. C`mon the Bluebirds!!
Date:Friday January 12 2007
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