Baggies v Bluebirds, big match preview

Last updated : 12 February 2004 By Michael Morris
Cardiff City travel to the Hawthorns on Saturday hoping to end a 47 year wait for a win. Granted the teams have not played on a regular basis in the last half century but on the four other occasions since the City win on Feb 9th, 1957 City have drawn 2 and lost 2. It's been nearly 29 years since the teams last met in the Midlands.

There is some close ties at the moment with West Brom. Twice City manager Frank Burrows is second in command to boss Gary Megson and one of City's biggest assets, Daniel Gabbidon, signed from West Brom to join City.

West Brom are finding it hard to get a run of wins together. They are second in the table with a 4 point gap over 3rd placed Wigan but the last 10 games have only brought 3 wins and 5 draws. Boss Megson finds himself in a position similar the one Cardiff was in last season when we were expected to win every game.

"At the moment we are a football club weighed down by more expectation than any other club in the top half of the table. I don't mean any disrespect to the other clubs but I think it's true."

He added: "Maybe to a certain extent that's been causing problems in so much as when before we were wining games and then we drew a few, that was not seen as anything too far out of order. Now everyone would define the same thing as being a bad patch."

Two players the Baggies will definately be without are Daniel Dichio, who has signed for Millwall and Rob Hulse, who is suspended.

City will be missing the suspended Gary Croft but are sure to include John Robinson in the squad. Robinson took charge of yesterdays reserve team win over Swindon. He came through the full 90 mins and Swindon's reserve team boss said of City's win.

“They just had a little bit too much for us in the end. John Robinson was in their side and he pretty much ran the show from midfield."

We may find out more after the pre match press conference as to what role Robinson will have.

The scheduled referee this weekend is Lee Mason of Lancashire. His assistants are Richard Beevor from Norfolk and Martin Dexter from Leicestershire. Mason was in charge of last nights Telford v Millwall FA Cup game and has handed out 81 yellow cards in 19 games officiated so far this season.

There is a nervousness in the West Midlands ahead of this game. The local police and WBA are insisting on City fans to produce membership cards. There is also a requirement to sit in your allocated seats with warnings of ejection from the ground if requests are refused.

The game is a 1:00pm kick off because of fears of marrauding Celts rampaging through the West Midlands so please can everybody prove them wrong and let's get back to 3:00pm kick offs.

More exact team news to follow close to the time.

West Bromwich Albion v Cardiff City
The Hawthorns. Saturday 14th February.
ko 1:00pm.