Date:Friday February 2 2007
Cardiff City play host to Simon Davey`s Barnsley tomorrow in a game televised live on Sky Sports 1 at 7.30 (kick-off at 7.45pm). The visitors arrive in reasonable league form having won their previous 2 league games, prior to that they lost 4 out of 5 games scoring just once. Barnsley have now played 34 league games without a 0-0 scoreline, Cardiff have sat through 5 already this season with another in the FA Cup.
The tykes were fairly busy in the transfer window signing Dwayne Mattis and former Cardiff target Grant McCann to bolster their midfield ranks. Another late signing was the capture of Hungarian striker Istvan Ferenczi, a 29 year old with 2 goals for his international side, the Tykes agreeing to a 'considerable six-figure fee` for the forward. Brian Howard currently leads the scoring charts for the Yorkshire side with 8 goals including a screamer against the Bluebirds up at Oakwell on the first day of the season.
Another player to watch is tricky left winger Michael McIndoe, the pacy attacking player can rip through any defence when on form and Kerrea Gilbert will need to be alert to keep the winger quiet.
Cardiff City have also recovered to somewhat reasonable form after a miserable set of results saw them plummet down the table. The Bluebirds have strengthened during the transfer window and have won their previous 2 fixtures against Wolves and Leicester. New signings Simon Walton (a combative midfielder) and Iwan Redan (powerful striker) go straight into the squad and join David Forde and Jason Byrne of the new recruits while James Simmonds and Matt Green will need reserve team games before they are ready for first team action.
Michael Chopra for the Bluebirds is in blistering form with 4 brilliant goals in his last two matches, and playing with renewed confidence and appetite. Both Chopra and Thompson will look to establish themselves as the frontline strikers with ready-made replacements for both waiting on the bench. Chopra enjoyed a loan spell with Barnsley in the 2004-05 season scoring an impressive 17 goals but the Tykes were unable to secure the hitman's signiture permanently.
Cardiff also signed Stephen McPhail on a free from Barnsley in the summer after criticising Barnsley's lack of ambition and preferring Cardiff's prospects. The Irishman played a crucial part in the Tykes' promotion bid but joined the Bluebirds to the dissappointment of the Barnsley fans.
Cardiff are the draw masters in recent times but seem to be climbing out of their dip, but Barnsley are 8 games without a draw and 34 since a no-score draw indicating their all-or-bust mentality. Barnsley will travel in fairly high spirits after back-to-back wins over Luton and QPR but Cardiff should be confident and will be looking to win.
VitalCardiff predicts 2-1 to Cardiff City.
Date:Friday February 2 2007
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