City v Saints. Match preview

Last updated : 08 August 2008 By Michael Morris
If you've not been down Sloper Rd since the end of last season you'll see tomorrow that there has been further development of the new stadium being built across the road and it will be that ground the club will be playing in in 12 months time.

For now though City kick off a 6th season at this level. I can't remember the last time we had such on the pitch stability. The joy of watching Cardiff during the 80's and 90's was we tended to get either promoted or relegated quite often. Hopefully we can see this season out with the biggest promotion of the lot. A step into the Premier league.

Dave Jones has one injury ahead of tomorrow's game with Southampton. Tony Capaldi is recovering from a cartilage problem. Other than that we have a full set to choose from.

Based on Jones' selection for the Ajax game last week we could see a starting line up that reads

Heaton, McNaughton, Loovens, Johnson, Kennedy, Whittingham, Rae, McPhail, Ledley, McCormack and Thompson.

I wonder if Paul Parry will be favoured over Whittingham. Parry has scored a hat trick in pre season and in my mind is the better player at the moment between the two. Up front could see the start of Jay Bothroyd's City career unles Jones feels he's not quite ready yet after only joining the club this week.

Tom Heaton looks to have secured the goalkeeping slot with some steady performances in pre season. Mark Kennedy should also make his debut in place of Capaldi at full back. I would like to see Comminges in the team as well but we can't accomodate them all.

Jones has the luxury of still having Enckleman, Purse, Dennehy, Scimeca, Comminges, Parry, Blake and Bothroyd available if he did select the XI above. We'll only know for sure at 2.45pm tomorrow.

City have sold out the home allocation of tickets so please allow extra time to get to Ninian Park and avoid long queue's at kick off time.

Southampton are looking to improve on their last ditch escape from relegation last season.

They kick off the new campaign without last season's leading goalscorer Stern John.

The Trinidad & Tobago striker was sent off during Saints' dramatic last-day escape from relegation against Sheffield United and serves a one-game ban.

Centre-half Andrew Davies is also missing after undergoing a knee operation over the summer but Michael Svensson returns to the rearguard for the first time in almost three years following successful knee surgery.

New signings Paul Wotton, Lee Holmes and Morgan Schneiderlin will be in line for debuts while youngsters Lloyd James and Adam Lallana could also be involved.

Marek Saganowski has joined Danish side AaB on loan so rookie striker David McGoldrick's eight goals in pre-season should be enough to earn him a start.