Cardiff City vs. Forest preview..

Half-forgetting to do this has given me the advantage of being able to see the other Championship results come in today.  May I be one of the many men in Red who is surely raising a glass tonight to congratulate Roy Keane on registering his first league win as Ipswich boss.  Here’s to you, Roy!  However, we have our own affairs to concentrate on now, and it’s as tough a trip as they come.

The Bluebirds are looking a tough prospect this season – and certainly potentially the sternest test our unbeaten away status has probably had to date.  As they table stands they’re fourth thanks to Leicester and West Brom winning, three points tomorrow (depending on the Newcastle result too) could put them on the top of the pile.  But whilst we look upon them with admiration of course, we are only three points behind them.

Our league is tight this year, that’s for sure – so whilst the points gap between us and City is only three points, whilst they occupy fourth we occupy tenth.  I imagine a fairly recent game at their place might have contributed a bit to their impressive goal-difference tally – +15 to our +3.  In fact, they have scored almost double the number of goals we have this season.

For us it’s not a great time to be without leading scorer Dexter Blackstock and former Bluebird Robert Earnshaw.  Whilst attacking-wise there’s plenty to fear from tomorrow’s hosts, their defence hasn’t looked impregnable by any means – I mean, even Derby managed to score one against them!  Perch will still be missing, but Moussi will undoubtedly make a return into a packed out midfield – I can’t see Billy being too adventurous here!

Cardiff have no fresh injury concerns – and it’s former Forest-loanee Michael Chopra who we’ll need to keep an eye on.  With an impressive eleven league goals so far he’s one of numerous players who could cause us issues – he cuts a very different figure to the hapless youngster on loan with us all those years ago.  Peter Whittingham is another dangerous outlet for the hosts, who will of course be marshalled by former-Bluebird Chris Gunter who will be keen to put in a good performance at his old club.

A gratuitous but inevitable shot of non-league Nigel at Cardiff earlier in the season watching his team get a 6-1 shoeing.

This is definitely a test for us – but equally, we’re a test for them too – well, perhaps not equally, but still.  One of our best assets away from home is our travelling fans, the televisedness of the game combined with the stupid kick off time might diminish this (certainly it’s ruled the trip out for me), but there should still be a good number of travelling trickies to give the lads some backing whilst the rest of us settle infront of TVs and screens.

They’ve only lost once this season at home – and that’s to hot-and-cold QPR who defy any kind of predictability, tasting defeat on their travels to Sheffield Wednesday and Doncaster.  Their unbeaten in five plays our unbeaten in six, on paper this should be a close game – but I don’t feel to positive about it, I think the slightly more established home side will have the better of us.

But I’ve been wrong in the past – hopefully I am now too!