Cardiff vs Portsmouth Preview
By Jim Bonner
Updated Friday, 20th January 2012
Pompey head to Wales looking for second away win.
Pompey fans will be making the journey to Caerdydd tomorrow hoping for a better result than the first time at the Bluebirds' new stadium.
Hayden Mullins and Aaron Mokoena are likely to miss the game with calf and hamstring injuries respectively. David Norris is banned following his red card last week but Kelvin Etuhu is likely to go straight into the squad to face the team he was once on loan to.
Robert Earnshaw could be the biggest miss for Malky Mackay's men as he battles a muscle strain whilst Rudy Gestede is struggling with an ankle problem.
Once again, Michael Appleton faces a selection crisis due to injuries and suspensions. It seems so bad that the Pompey gaffer may only have 13 players to choose from tomorrow and so the youngsters are likely to at least get a place on the bench.
Still, there may be hope of getting a result here as the hosts haven't been in great form after their recent surge up the table and could have their minds on their midweek Carling Cup semi-final second leg with Crystal Palace, who they trail 1-0 from the first game.
I personally hope Earnshaw isn't fit tomorrow as he always presents a problem for Pompey defences it seems. Or maybe it's just my irrational hatred of him clouding my judgement?
There's also the likes of Peter Whittingham and Kenny Miller for the back four to be wary about. It's difficult to see how Stephen Henderson will keep a clean sheet tomorrow and given how we've struggled to score on the road, I'm not too confident going into this one.
But I've been proven wrong by this team many times before...
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: David MARSHALL
RB: Darcy BLAKE
CB: Ben TURNER
CB: Mark HUDSON
LB: Andrew TAYLOR
RM: Don COWIE
CM: Aron GUNNARRSON
CM: Stephen McPHAIL
LM: Peter WHITTINGHAM
CF: Joe MASON
CF: Kenny MILLER
GK: Stephen HENDERSON
RB: Adam WEBSTER
CB: Greg HALFORD
CB: Jason PEARCE
LB: Tal BEN-HAIM
RM: Liam LAWRENCE
CM: Kelvin ETUHU
CM: Joel WARD
LM: Erik HUSEKLEPP
SS: Dave KITSON
CF: Marko FUTACS
Last Time: Cardiff City 3 Portsmouth 0 (Championship - 16/04/2011)
Seyi Olofinjana headed in Craig Bellamy's cross to give the Bluebirds an early lead and then Ricardo Rocha stupidly got sent off for pushing his face into Jay Bothroyd's.
Bothroyd then tapped in a second right before the break after Jamie Ashdown had parried Bellamy's shot. The Welshman then provided another cross for Whittingham to blast in a third from close range as Dave Jones' men cruised to victory.
Cardiff may have distractions but given our away record and our selection crisis I can only see a defeat on the cards, unfortunately.
Cardiff City 2 Portsmouth 0