Off to Wales
It is going to be a difficult journey into Cardiff with over 60,000 attending the Millennium Stadium but well done to the police in insisting on the Saturday afternoon kick off being retained when the two clubs were happy enough to have us going down for a Sunday lunchtime start.
Our hosts are sat one place and two points above the bottom three and despite struggling for much of the season it is now over three months since they occupied one of the relegation places that have been held for much of the time by Gillingham, Nottingham Forest and Rotherham.
They were next to bottom when a late Richard Chaplow goal won the Turf Moor game for us and at the time there was a lot of speculation that manager Lennie Lawrence could be on his way out with Joe Kinnear’s name constantly being mentioned.
Lawrence has gone nowhere though and remains in charge along with Terry Burton who had moved from Watford just a couple of weeks before they played at the Turf.
Gary O’Neil played in that game, on loan from Portsmouth but he was called back although the other loan player at the time, Sunderland’s Darren Williams, has now made the move to south Wales permanent.
He is the only permanent signing although Millwall’s Neil Harris had a brief loan spell before signing for Nottingham Forest and currently they have Fulham’s Japanese midfielder Junichi Inamoto on loan with them and he has made seven league and cup appearances.
Cardiff too were in midweek cup action and were somewhat unfortunate to go down 3-2 at a deserted Ewood Park where goalkeeper Tony Warner had a less than comfortable evening.
In the league though the form has been good of late and they are unbeaten in their last five games, three of which have been away from home. They have conceded just two goals in those five games.
to see all Cardiff’s results this season.
Apart from Gary Croft who is out with a long term injury, Lennie Lawrence could be forced into changes with both Rhys Weston and Peter Thorne rated no better than 50/50. Weston was substituted during the cup defeat with as hamstring injury whilst Thorne suffered a dead leg against his former club.
Former Millwall goalkeeper could be left out after a poor night and that would spell a return for Neil Alexander in goal for his first league appearance of the season.
Should both Weston and Thorne make it then expect Cardiff to line up: Tony Warner (or Neil Alexander), Rhys Weston, James Collins, Danny Gabbidon, Chris Barker, Richard Langley, Graham Kavanagh, Junichi Inomoto, Jobi McAnuff, Cameron Jerome, Peter Thorne. Subs from: Neil Alexander (or Tony Warner), Tony Vidmar, Lee Bullock, Joe Ledley, Andy Campbell, Alan Lee.
Steve Cotterill will have an extra body for this game with James O’Connor back in the squad having been unable to play in the cup win against Liverpool. He has said he might well leave one of the midfielders out after two tough games last week on a heavy pitch and I would assume that if that is the case it will be Richard Chaplow who is only just back to full fitness.
Somehow, I suspect he might stick with the side that won on Tuesday with O’Connor having to settle for a place on the bench in what will be his last game for us before the end of his three month loan period.
With Graham Branch and Michael Duff both unlikely to have recovered our team is likely to be: Brian Jensen, Frank Sinclair, Gary Cahill, John McGreal, Mo Camara, Lee Roche, Richard Chaplow, Tony Grant, Micah Hyde, Jean-Louis Valois, Ian Moore. Subs: Danny Coyne, Paul Scott, Joel Pilkington, James O’Connor, Matt O’Neill.
Our last meeting at Ninian Park was towards the end of last season and one of those desperate away days when the side looked far from up for it despite the crucial need for points in the relegation battle.
The biggest surprise of all was that we held Cardiff to 0-0 for 78 minutes but they then scored twice within two minutes. The first was a Richard Langley penalty, given away by Mark McGregor and then substitute Andy Campbell added a second.
The other teams at the bottom were all picking up points and it was beginning to look as though we would suffer just what that performance warranted – relegation against a Cardiff side that didn’t even look particularly bothered about winning it.
The teams were,
Cardiff: Martyn Margetson, Tony Vidmar, Danny Gabbidon, James Collins, Gary Croft, Richard Langley, Willie Boland, Gareth Whalley (Paul Parry 71), John Robinson (Arran Lee-Barrett 84), Alan Lee, Robert Earnshaw (Andy Campbell 76). Subs not used: Chris Barker, Lee Bullock.
Burnley: Brian Jensen, Lee Roche, Mark McGregor, David May, Mo Camara, Luke Chadwick, Richard Chaplow, Tony Grant (Lenny Johnrose 70), Glen Little, Robbie Blake, Graham Branch. Subs not used: Nathan Abbey, Joel Pilkington, Alan Moore, Dele Adebola.
Previous 20 Seasons
Painter Farrell Conroy
SM Davis Payton
Click HERE to see all our results against Cardiff since we drew 1-1 with them in our first meeting back in 1922.