Chester City v Bluebirds. Match preview

Last updated : 19 July 2004 By Michael Morris
City face an interesting trip to Chester on Tuesday for a pre season friendly against the leagues new boys. Chester of course were a league team for many seasons until being relegated in 2000 but they have bounced back and are looking a strong outfit.

They are managed by former Liverpool defender Mark Wright, he led them to promotion as Conference Champions last season. They kicked off their pre season programme at the Deva last Saturday and comfortably beat Walsall 3 - 0.

Two of the goals against Walsall came from striker Michael Branch. The 25 year old is a recognisable name having played for Everton in the Premiership a few years ago. He joined Wolves in 2000 for £500,000 but like much of his time at Everton he was loaned out. He played last season for Bradford City scoring 6 goals in 29 league starts

Chester also have former Merthyr striker Cortez Belle in their squad for the new season. In total they have so far made 9 new signings.

Another player has been linked to Cardiff before. Midfielder Ben Davies has caught Lennies eye in the past

"We're aware of the player and we'll monitor his progress as we do with a number of young players," said Lawrence in June. "But it would not be true to suggest we are preparing an offer."

Cardiff head to Chester with a full strength squad. New signings Tony Warner and Robert Page join Robert Earnshaw, Daniel Gabbidon, Graham Kavanagh, Peter Thorne and the rest for City first senior pre season game. The second senior game is against SPL team Hibernian on Saturday.

Of the 23 senior players given squad numbers 17 are travelling to Chester. Missing will be Richard Langley and Tony Vidmar, both allowed extra time after summer international duty. Stuart Fleetwood is away with Wales U19's and Aaran Lee Barret played at Chippenham yesterday. Neil Alexander and Gareth Whalley have not been selected to travel.

One youth player who is included is Byron Anthony. The young defender skippered the youth team in yesterday 1 - 1 draw in Chippenham and earns a place with the first team squad.

The game at the Deva Stadium kicks off at 7:45pm. Cardiff City World on the official website will be offering live commentary for subscribers.