Cardiff City come to Wembley on Saturday afternoon for only our third ‘home’ game of the season. This is our fifth game out of eight against potential relegation candidates thus far this campaign, all of them have been promoted in the last two seasons.
Our lack of fitness and form means of course that we’re grateful for a relatively straightforward run of games, it does though put an asterisk against our league position – despite the fact that it feels like we’ve not got going yet we could still be just two points behind both Man City and Liverpool at the end of the weekend.
Cardiff would’ve swapped our schedule for theirs certainly. Their opening games have featured fixtures against the filthy gooners, Citeh and Chelsea and now they play us. They have picked up two draws so far (against Huddersfield and Newcastle) and been beaten by Norwich at home in the League Cup. They currently lie next to bottom, above the Terriers on goal difference. Goalscoring has been their biggest problem, just the four so far including two past Cech in one of what’s becoming a long string of Getting Away With It results for the Arse.
Under Neil Warnock Cardiff’s style is going to veer towards the uncompromising I suspect. Their line has recently been led by Kenneth Zohore, a 6 foot 2 Danish lad, more pie than pastry. At the rear, in Neil Etheridge they have the only Filipino to ever play in the Premier League and in midfield they have former Bournemouth chopper Neil Arter.
That’s everything I know about Cardiff.
Our injury situation means that the same players who played on Wednesday will turn out again tomorrow. The only options that I can see are Dier for Wanyama and Rose for Davies. Son was subbed after being disappointing against Barcelona and Lamela taken off but only with cramp I believe. The Argentine has won a lot of supporters over (after 5 years!) with his recent displays. Wednesday was close to the best he’s ever played for us, his energy and running were the main features, he is now on four goals for the season already. He previously carried about as much goal threat as Steffen Freund so I’m not sure where this goalkeeper bothering behaviour has sprung from but long may it continue.
So a likely line-up is Hugo, Trips, Toby, Sanchez, Rose, Winks, Dier, Lamela, Son, Lucas, Kane. That’s a line-up that should be enough to send the Bluebirds home pointless. I hope it is anyway as we’ve got little else.
An early goal would be a boon, not least because rumour has it, it’s going to be a small crowd. There will be fewer tourists than usual as the reputation of the Cardiff fans mean that tickets have only gone on restricted general sale. Spurs have been sending out strange text messages this morning suggesting that they may not open all the entrances, for the fifth tier at least.
Mike Dean (Oh no!) is the referee.
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