Cardiff v Stoke. Match preview
Those hoping to see Robbie Fowler make his league debut are set to be disappointed as Robbie is recovering from a thigh injury. Steve MacClean and Warren Feeney look likely to kick off the campaign as the front two strikers.
Ninian Park is execting a crowd in the region of 19,000 today. It will be short of a full house as Stoke have only sold about half of their allocation. Nearly all of the home tickets have been sold with all the terrace areas and the family stand sold out yesterday.
City are likely to give full league debuts to Ross Turnbull, Tony Capaldi, Gavin Rae, Trevor Sinclair and Steve MacClean. All 5 joined in the summer. The two other summer signings are Michael Oakes and Robbie Fowler. Robbie as mentioned is injured while Oakes is likely to be on the bench.
It looks like Joe Ledley will be selected ahead of Peter Whittingham for a start on the left hand side of midfield.
City probable: Turnbull, Capaldi, Loovens, Johnson, McNaughton, Ledley, McPhail, Rae, Sinclair, Feeney, MacClean.
Subs from Oakes, Forde, Gunter, Blake, Ramsey, Whittingham, Parry, Green, Byrne.
Visitors Stoke City lost defender Carl Hoefkens this week to W.B.A. They bring a squad though with several recognisable names. Dominic Matteo, Liam Lawrence, Richard Cresswell, Ricardo Fuller, Rory Delap, Mama Sidibe and Jon Parkin.
Stoke are running with a virtually full strength squad and as you'd expect from a Tony Pulis team they will be strong and will not want to let City control the game.
Last season Michael Chopra scored an injury time goal to earn City a point against Stoke at Ninian Park. That 1 point was the only one Cardiff achieved in the last 8 games of the season. Let's hope we start this campaign with the appalling demise of last season consigned to the past.
New season, new hope. Bring it on.