Rotherham United vs Cardiff City. Early match preview.

Last updated : 07 August 2003 By Matthew Gabb
Over 18 years waiting and the big day is nearly here.

9th August 2003 sees City in Division 1 for the first time in a very very long time. Anyone under the age of 25 is unlikely to remember Cardiff City as a "second" division side.

All those trips to such obscure outposts as Halifax, Hartlepool, Carlisle and Swansea seem a distant memory, as within the first three months of the season City take on Nottingham Forest, Derby Country, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Sunderland and West Ham.

It's the real thing.

Manager Lennie Lawrence hasn't been able to make as many signings as he would like, but the ones he has made seem sound. Tony Vidmar looks a solid left sided defender, and most City fans know John Robinson from his days with Wales. Also we haven't sold anyone. We've kept our top young players Danny Gabbidon and Robert Earnshaw, whereas in the past we would probably have cashed in on them.

It looks like Peter Thorne will not be fit for the first match, neither will full back Gary Croft.

I would expect City to line up 4-4-2 at Millmoor with the following side (injuries permitting):

Alexander; Weston, Gabbidon, Vidmar, Barker; Whalley, Kavanagh, Boland, Robinson; Earnshaw, Campbell.

We've sold around 2300 tickets from a 3300 allocation so far, so there will be plenty of support for the Bluebirds on Saturday.

Division 1 here we come.