PREVIEW: Cardiff v City

ChesterJames

Interest in this game is pretty widespread on a national scale but, for the fans of the two teams at least, that interest will be largely restricted to events on the pitch. That both outfits have ludicrous owners with egos the size of the Serengeti and destructive plans that will marmalise the very fabric of their clubs is a side issue on a local level, as football still, when it has the grace to turn up, comes first.

Cardiff City’s mad bloke in residence is currently trying to undermine the efforts of the previous manager with the effect, it seems, of putting needless pressure on the new one. Gratifyingly, our manager and his position – and, indeed, his team – have not been involved nor affected by events involving the hypocritical maniac in charge of Hull City, but nevertheless his own activities, brought to a head with a new revelatory piece of self-absorbed bullying just this week, make this fixture a high-profile one even among clubs without much of a top flight pedigree.

Both teams could do with the win; Cardiff have just one from their last ten in the Premier League while the Tigers have just one in 2014. For City, it commences an especially big 72 hours of the season with Brighton on the way up to the KC on Monday night for the FA Cup fifth round replay that will put one team within 90 minutes of a Wembley semi-final.

Steve Bruce may have much-needed defensive options returning in James Chester and Liam Rosenior, who have just about recovered from hamstring and thigh injuries, but he is without Paul McShane and Robbie Brady. Transfer window investments Shane Long and Nikica Jelavić are back after being cup-tied at Brighton on Monday night.

Cardiff have lost Mark Hudson for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury, while midfielder Gary Medel and veteran striker Craig Bellamy are injured and suspended respectively.

It’ll be on Bruce’s ticksheet, this one; the bookies have City at 7/4 to take the points in the Welsh capital. Cardiff are priced at 17/10 and it’s 11/5 for the draw. It’s on our ticksheet too with green highlighter right through it. C’mon City.