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How Cardifficult Can It Be To Win?

Cardiff City

The Cardiff City Stadium

Tuesday 15th February 2011


The Clarets buoyed by their away win against Watford on Saturday now have to do it all again and go one better by defeating the high-flying Bluebirds in the Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Preamble

Burnley`s away form seems to be improving since the arrival of Eddie Howe and boy does it need to with a sequence of four consecutive games away this month alone. Our confidence though should be high following our 3-1 victory against Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday. Now we are seeking our fourth league away win of the season with Cardiff the hosts on Tuesday night.

The match had been rescheduled following the postponement of the original fixture back in December due to snow and ice in South Wales.

This will be the first time we have played at Cardiff`s new stadium so let`s hope our fortunes are better here than they were at Ninian Park.

The Clarets woeful away form though has been legendary after managing to win only 5 of the last 44 games on the road prior to the Watford victory.

Eddie Howe however has instilled a new found confidence into the team and since arriving we have now won two and drawn one of the four away games where he has been in charge. Another victory on the road against second-placed Cardiff would be a real feather in his cap and could be crucial to our promotion chances. We are still some way off the play-offs spots but are still in contention if we can only maximise our return from the eighteen games still remaining of the season. We are currently in 8th spot six points behind Leeds United in 6th with a game in hand. That game in hand though will be played on Tuesday night showing how crucial victory could be.

Cardiff under Dave Jones have been inconsistent at times but now seem to be enjoying a good run of form with no defeat now in six games.

They are riding high in the Championship in second spot on 54 points, five behind league leaders, QPR but eight points clear of Burnley having played the same number of games.

The Bluebirds home form of late has also been impressive with no defeat now in their last six home games. They have lost just two home games all season over a poor spell that saw them lose to local rivals, Swansea and Nottingham Forest before then only managing a 1-1 draw against bottom club, Preston.

It is clear though that the Bluebirds are now back on song and that the Clarets will have a difficult task trying to stop them chirping!

Cardiff City Team News:

The only injury concern for Cardiff appears to be 31 year old midfielder, Stephen McPhail. The Republic of Ireland international pulled his hamstring in the FA Cup replay against Stoke City back in January.

However he seems to be well on the road to recovery having played in the Reserves last week and being named on the bench for Cardiff`s last two games without featuring.

Player to watch: Jay Bothroyd

Bothroyd is in second spot in the Npower Championship Top Scorers table with 15 league goals so far this season for the Bluebirds. He will need to be carefully watched on Tuesday night The 28 year old England International signed from Wolves in Aug 2008 for 350,000 after penning a three-year deal.

Burnley Team News:

There is no news of any new injuries following our away win at Watford on Saturday. The only two players sidelined continue to be Martin Paterson (recurrent thigh strain) and Chris McCann (recovery from cruciate knee surgery). Both look unlikely to feature in the first team now before the end of the season.

Hopefully, Charlie Austin will have recovered from the illness that kept him from training last week. If he is fit to play, Chris Iwelumo could be dropped back to the bench despite scoring his first away goal for the Clarets this season against the Hornets on Saturday.

Player to watch: Steven Thompson

It looks unlikely that Thompson will get a starting eleven place but hopefully he will get a chance to come on from the bench and play against his former club. He should be up for it if he does and it would be good to see him score on his first visit to their new stadium.

Team & Tactics

I suspect the only change that will be made to the starting eleven could be the return of Charlie Austin following the illness that kept him sidelined for the Watford game last Saturday.

Assuming Austin is well enough to play; Iwelumo could pick up the short straw and find himself returning to the bench despite scoring his first away goal of the season against the Hornets. Howe on the other hand may take the view that Iwelumo deserves his chance again and that you should never change a winning team.

The eighteen then could look something like this:

Grant, Mears, Duff, Carlisle, Fox, Cork, Marney, Wallace, Eagles, Iwelumo or Austin, Rodriguez

Subs: Jensen, Bikey, Easton (or Iwelumo or Austin), Alexander, Bartley, Elliott, Thompson

Ref Watch:

Bedfordshire referee Pat Miller is in charge of this one. He seems a bit handy with the cards this season so far showing 6 reds and 76 yellow cards in his 21 matches in charge at Championship and lower league level

Match Prediction:

I would be delighted with a point to be honest providing we can then go on to complete the double over Preston in our next league game. Three points and I will really 'dare to dream` again! I am banking on Cardiff having one of their inconsistent off-days so we can shade it 2-1 and clock up our fourth away win of the season and our third under Howe.

Next Match

The Clarets continue their sequence of four consecutive away games this month with a visit to the Boleyn Ground to play Premier League club, West Ham in the FA Cup 5th Round tie on the night of Monday 21st February. The match is also being televised live by ESPN with the original fixture being changed from the weekend to accommodate them. (Kick-Off 8pm). We return to Championship duty on the following Saturday and complete our fourth away game on the trot with a juicy derby game at Deepdale against bottom club, Preston North End on the 26th February (Kick-Off 3pm)

Date:Sunday February 13 2011
Time: 12:45PM


What is it these days about Rugby clubs sharing their grounds with Footy clubs? If Reading and Watford are anything to go by the pitch could be cut up rotten in Cardiff!! Come on you Clarets!
13/02/2011 12:47:00
It depends on the quality of the pitch tmp. The Swans share with the Ospreys for example , and the pitch is always immaculate , so hopefully it'll be the same at the Cardiff Stadium. Without wishing to state the obvious, if the Claret team that plays entertaining free flowing football turn up on Tuesday night , then 3 points are definitely possible here. Confidence should now be improving all the time , and I'm really looking forward to this match. It's our time to win at Cardiff.
13/02/2011 13:22:00
To be honest TMP the worst pitch I've seen was Scunny's and thats just football. Totally stopped our game that pitch. Anyway like Welsh says if we turn up playing well, I think we could edge this one. It will be close though.
13/02/2011 14:02:00
Most important match of the season so far. Win and we will be 5 points behind automatic promotion. Lose and we are likely to be 10th with all the other teams having 2 matches to play before our next league game
13/02/2011 16:22:00
Had ruled out going to this one on the basis that it would be a long drive, time off work and additional expense. Add to that the fact that Mrs RT needs dropping off at Heathrow at 5.30am on Wednesday morning. However, I'm now having second thoughts and reckon that I would be back from South Wales in plenty of time for taxi duties....
13/02/2011 19:51:00
RT on the Watford thread you say you've seen all our away wins. Go mate be our good luck charm!
14/02/2011 10:40:00
Go RT go!
Couch Potato
14/02/2011 12:28:00
See you there Rickers :-)
14/02/2011 13:08:00
Peter Whittingham is expected to return for Cardiff City after sitting out Saturday's victory against Scunthorpe with a leg injury. Defender Kevin McNaughton has been nursing a hamstring problem but should be able to play. Burnley will check on the fitness of striker Charlie Austin, who missed their 3-1 win at Watford because he was feeling unwell.
15/02/2011 13:26:00
Regarding the comments above about the pitch, Bothroyd complains that the pitch is one of the worst in the championship, largely due to sharing with the Cardiff Blues. Let's hope it affects them more than us, and big lads like Bikey could be a bonus for us tonight.
15/02/2011 14:46:00
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