Leicester City take on Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon, a battle of two promotion hopefuls. Leicester are currently fifth while opponents Cardiff sit once place behind Leicester in sixth. Both sides lost their last matches, so for Leicester and Cardiff they will both be looking to bounce straight back from a dismal start to the month of March.
Leicester, were defeated against Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday, which marked the end of an eight match unbeaten streak. However some fans will be hoping that the so called ‘Manager of the Month Curse’ (which Nigel Pearson claimed last Saturday) hasn’t hit Leicester, because this is one of the most important months of the Championship season. If the ‘Foxes’ do have a blip in form it will undoubtedly affect their promotion chances, but yesterday they were able to sign Everton striker James Vaughan on a month’s loan to bolster their promotion charge. Hopefully for Leicester they can bounce straight back from defeat to ‘Wednesday’ with a win over Cardiff tomorrow afternoon.
Cardiff, are still hanging in and around the play-off places considering they have had a massive lapse of form. Manager Dave Jones is currently the longest serving boss in the Coca Cola Championship; however he has always failed to help Cardiff City with promotion, considering they always start brilliantly to a new season. That bad run of games towards the end of a season has struck the ‘Bluebirds’ yet again. As stats show it will be highly unlikely that Dave Jones’s side will be finishing in the top six places of the Championship under his guidance. Cardiff are a quality footballing side, but there squad is very low on numbers due to finicial problems at the club, if they were able to strengthen their squad, they would most likely be challenging the top three in my view.
Leicester – After suffering a facial injury against Sheffield Wednesday, first choice goalkeeper Chris Weale has been classed fit to play. Also for Leicester new signing James Vaughan could well be among the starting 11, while Leicester’s physio has stated that Matty Fryatt could well be out for the remainder of this season.
Cardiff – Cardiff could well include key trio, Peter Whittingham, Mark Kennedy and Stephen McPhail, after all three players have been out injured. Michael Chopra is suspended, while two other key assets Joe Ledley and Mark Hudson are long term absentees.
Leicester – Jack Hobbs. The Leicester defence has to be wary of Cardiff’s attacking threat, and I think Jack Hobbs will be the man who can stop the Cardiff attack from scoring. The former Liverpool player was immense against Nottingham Forest, as his tackling ability was first class. He has to produce the same heroics tomorrow.
Cardiff – Chris Burke. The Cardiff City winger of Chris Burke has been amazing for the ‘Bluebirds’ this season. He is a tricky player to contend with, as Ryan McGivern would know, as Burke tore Leicester’s second choice left-back to pieces in the away fixture. Burke is a good player who can score goals aswell, it will most likely be Bruno Berner who occupy’s the ‘Foxes’ left-back role, so he has to stop as many crosses as he can or Burke’s deliveries could prove to be dangerous.
It could well be a close battle between two sides who are trying to gain promotion, its 5th v 6th and both sides will want the win. Leicester has a bigger squad than Cardiff and Nigel Pearson’s side have lesser injury problems to contend with. If Cardiff can get Whittingham fit, he will play a vital role, however im hoping that new signing James Vaughan can muster up something special, Leicester 2-1 Cardiff
Kick Off – 3.00pm, Saturday
Date – 13/03/2010
Ground – Walkers Stadium
Managers – Nigel Pearson/Dave Jones
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