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Stoke vs Cardiff (Match Preview)

Stoke vs Cardiff  (Match Preview)

Cardiff City travel to high-flying Stoke City for an early kick-off tomorrow, with Cardiff manager Dave Jones having recently picked up the award for top manager in January.

Stoke City boss Tony Pulis is a Bluebirds fan, but has guided to Potters to dizzy new heights after a late play-off surge last season. Stoke City have not been in the greatest form of late, with a number of draws hindering their progress beofre being beaten at promotion rivals Charlton Athletic last time out.

That means that a 3-1 win over Preston is the Potters' only win in 6 Championship fixtures. That said, 6 games unbeaten at home with four wins including a victory over West Brom is not to be taken lightly and the Potters will provide stiff opposition for Cardiff.

Top scorer Riccardo Fuller will be a potent threat, he has 12 league goals already while Ryan Shawcross at the back will be difficult to beat. Cardiff fans will remember the absolute stormer that Steve Simonson had in goal on the opening day of the season while in Liam Lawrence and new signing Glenn Whelan - Stoke have some exciting attacking options in midifeld.

Cardiff City are the form side of the division and travel in excellent spirits after some flowing football saw the Bluebirds outclass QPR 3-1 on Tuesday. That result made it 7 games unbeaten, with 5 wins and two creditable draws away at promotion chasing West Brom and Watford.

Joe Ledley and Paul Parry are the in-form players for Cardiff City, Ledley scored a brace and has begun to contribute regualarly from midfield. Paul Parry have moved to a more advanced role and has relished the freedom, his pace causes problems and he has scored 3 goals in 2 games to take his tally up to 7 for the season.

Make no mistake, this game should be a high quality, competitive affair between two sides hoping to be there or there abouts come the end of the season. Stoke have been more consistent but Cardiff's excellent recent run has yet to be broken and they have a good chance. It's 8 games since Stoke kept a clean sheet, so Vital Cardiff predicts an exciting 2-2 draw at the Brittannia Stadium.

Date:Friday February 1 2008
Time: 11:55AM

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