City welcome West Ham. Match preview

Last updated : 02 November 2004 By Michael Morris
City face one of the biggest home games of the season tonight when West Ham Utd roll into town.

City have lost just once in the last 7 league games but 4 of those matches have been draws. City have stopped the rot as far as losing games but must now move up a step and turn the draws into wins. After 4 successive defeats at Ninian Park City have now kept clean sheets in the last three games. A 2 - 0 win over Rotherham is flanked by goalless draws against Leeds and Leicester, both matches City dominated and hit the woodwook 7 times during those two games.

West Ham have not won in their last four away league games. Two draws at Plymouth and Derby along with defeats at QPR and Nottingham Forest. History shows in West Hams favour though, the last win for City was in April 1962. Last season Cardiff drew 0 - 0 in the league at Ninian Park and lost 2 - 3 in the Carling Cup. Two Rob Earnshaw goals were cancelled out by a Jermaine Defoe hat trick. The game at Upton Park was 1 - 0 to West Ham with our nemesis Bobby Zamora getting the goal.

Zamora is part of an 18 man squad travelling down the M4 today. Also included is Sergei Rebrov who returns after injury and other names you make recongnise like Jobi McAnuff's old mate Nigel Reo-Coker, Matthew Etherington and Marlon Harewood. Former City loan keeper Stephen Bywater will start for the Hammers.

West Ham are missing Teddy Sherringham, Andy Melville and Christian Dailly.

West Ham squad

Bywater, Repka, Walker, Fletcher, Powell, Harewood, Lomas, Brevett, Davenport, Nowland, Mullins, Reo-Coker, Hutchison, Chadwick, Zamora, Etherington, Ferdinand, Rebrov.

City expect to be unchanged with Lennie keeping the new formation that sees Paul Parry play just off Alan Lee in a 4 - 4 - 1 - 1 formation. Joe Ledley will play wide left with Gary O'Neil and Kav in centre midfield and ex West Ham player Jobi McAnuff on the right hand side of midfield. It's a big game for Jobi,

"I'm keen to get my first goal for Cardiff and my theory is that I'll get off the mark against West Ham - I've been saving up a hat-trick for them," said McAnuff.

West Ham boss Alan Pardew says he did not want to lose Jobi but had to "sacrafice" him

"The truth of it is that I didn't want to sell Jobi. I felt he could have become a first-team regular," said Pardew, "The bottom line was I needed a couple of defenders. Christian's injury compounded the issue so Jobi had to be sacrificed."

City are without Peter Thorne (neck injury) and Tony Vidmar is suspended. Vidmar's suspension will allow James Collins to keep his place and if James plays as well tonight as he did on Saturday then it will be hard for Vidmar to get back into the team.

With the relegation zone only a couple of points and places below City then we have to start winning games. Tonight against West Ham would be a great place to start.

City probable

Warner, Williams, Gabbidon, Collins, Barker, McAnuff, Kavanagh, O'Neil, Ledley, Parry, Lee.

Subs from Alexander, Anthony, Weston, Boland, Jerome, Fish, Bullock.