Burnley v Cardiff

Last updated : 26 April 2008 By Michael Morris
Northern Ireland striker Lafferty has had his appendix removed in an emergency operation, while on-loan Sunderland defender Varga requires surgery on a problematic foot injury.

But centre-half Clarke Carlisle returned to action last weekend after a three-match suspension and played a key role in the Clarets' 1-0 win at Southampton.

He should keep his place in the side alongside skipper Steven Caldwell, who scored the winner at St Mary's.

Fit-again Michael Duff also comes into contention after recovering from the multiple knee ligament damage he sustained in a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at the end of September.

Cardiff manager Dave Jones could give his fringe players a chance to stake their FA Cup final claims.

Jones insisted before Tuesday's 3-0 loss at Wolves that all of his squad still had a chance of playing against Portsmouth at Wembley and now the Bluebirds' play-off hopes have ended he may opt to make changes.

Darcy Blake, Riccardo Scimeca and Steve Thompson all made substitute appearances against Wanderers and could come into the side, while Trevor Sinclair will hope for a recall to the 16-man squad.

Defenders Glenn Loovens and Kevin McNaughton both came through the Molineux clash - which Jones missed due to a chest infection - unscathed and should retain their places in the Bluebirds starting line-up.

A hamstring problem is again expected to keep Paul Parry out of action, while Warren Feeney is still sidelined.

Robbie Fowler is approaching full fitness after overcoming a hip problem but is unlikely to be risked against the Clarets.

Sporting Life