Cardiff v Portsmouth. Match preview

Last updated : 15 April 2011 By Michael Morris

It's easy. Win the next five matches and Cardiff will be promoted to the Premier League. In reality I don't think it'll be quite that easy. There's going to be a few twists and turns before second place is claimed by one from Cardiff, Norwich, Swansea or Reading.

I've mentioned the FA Cup Final in other articles, that's history now, we've played and beaten Portsmouth since then. Now we look forward to what promises to be an amazing occasion at the CCS tomorrow. Cardiff are looking for a 4th straight victory after the most perfect of Aprils so far. March came and went with City picking up 2 points from 12. But this month we are 9/9  including two tricky away games at teams fighting for their Championship survival.

Now we face two home games. Portsmouth and then on Saturday week, QPR. By then Rangers could be promoted but it could be that they need a result against us to confirm their promotion. It's crucial then that City look to win tomorrow over Portsmouth to keep themselves in the driving seat as far as the runners up spot is concerned.

Portsmouth come to the CCS on the back of a 3 nil home defeat by Coventry and they will be without Hayden Mullins who was sent off in the game. He is likely to be replaced by Liam Lawrence. Pompey still have Kanu in their squad and their line up contains familiar names like Dave Kitson, David Nugent, Herman Hriedarsson, Danny Webber, Greg Hallford and on loan Swansea player Dave Cotterill.

After winning six games in a row through February and into March Portsmouth have only won won of their last six.

Cardiff hope to have the same squad available that were victorious at Bramall Lane. Dave Jones has to juggle with loan players. Only five are allowed in the matchday 18. It's essential then that Tom Heaton is fit for the bench at least. Craig Bellamy and Seyi Olofinjana will both play. Jones then can choose three from Bywater, Brown, Samuel, Koumas or Emmanuel-Thomas.

Dave Jones brought in Lee Naylor at Sheff Utd so he was able to leave Jlloyd Samuel out of the squad and have Koumas and JET on the bench. To be able to do that tomorrow he will need Heaton in the squad otherwise both Jason Brown and Stephen Bywater will need to be included. Then only one of JET or Koumas could be on the bench.

Several players are trying to overcome knocks but all are expected to be available.

Cardiff possible: Heaton, Quinn, Keinan, McHaughton, Naylor, Burke, Olofinjana, McPhail, Whittingham, Bellamy, Bothroyd. Subs from Bywater, Blake, Matthews, Gyepes, Koumas, Rae, JET, Parkin.

Sort out your tickets early. Call 0845 345 1400.

Cardiff City v Portsmouth
Saturday 16th April, 2011.
ko 3:00pm.