Bristol City v Cardiff City. Match preview
Saturday 5:20pm. Live on Sky TV from Ashton Gate. The Severnside derby.
There was a time this was considered our 'real' derby. Bristol City were our firecest rivals but times have changed with the Cardiff v Swansea derby games becoming more intense in recent years.
It's still a good topic for debate. I know some people who don't even consider Bristol to be a rival at all. They may just as well be Ipswich or Coventry. Other friends of mine noticably tense up when Bristol City is mentioned.
Today Cardiff are taking less than 1,000 fans on the short trip over the bridge. There are several reasons for the poor turnout.
1. It's a voucher exchange game meaning you need to meet at the motorway services to collect match tickets, people don't want that hassle and are not able to travel by train.
2. It's live on Sky. Coupled with not wanting the hassle of No.1 it's just easier and more comfortable to watch at home or in the pub.
3. The rugby is a factor. Wales play Italy in Cardiff today. Those using option No.2 also get to see the rugby as well. This afternon is an armchair Wales and Cardiff fans delight.
4. After Wembley and long trips to Ipswich and Brighton people will be saving their money when this match can be seen on TV.
Cardiff haven't won away in 2012. They went close at Brighton in midweek and will be hoping today is the first W in the away column since Nottingham Forest on New Years Eve.
On paper Cardiff should be favourites against a struggling Bristol side who are facing a relegation battle. But they showed their teeth on beating Leicester on Tuesday night and they will be hoping for a home double that could see them pull eight points away from the bottom three.
When the game kicks off Cardiff could have dropped to 9th if Burnley beat Crystal Palace in their 3pm kick off. On a brighter note if results go City's way and Brighton, Birtmingham and Blackpool don't win then Cardiff can jump back into the top six if they get a win at Ashton Gate.
Team news from Sporting LIfe:
Bristol City will assess Lewin Nyatanga's ankle injury ahead of the Championship clash with Cardiff on Saturday.
Nyatanga missed the Robins' 3-2 midweek victory over Leicester because of the knock but could yet feature for City against the Bluebirds.
On-loan midfielder Sean Davis will return to the matchday squad after recovering from a minor knock, while manager Derek McInnes has not ruled out another appearance for young winger Joe Bryan - who made his debut on Tuesday night.
Marvin Elliott has been ruled out for the season after snapping his Achilles tendon, and broken ankle victim David Clarkson will also not play a part.
Defender Cole Skuse requires further recuperation time before he can make his comeback from a broken toe, while James Wilson could be sidelined for the rest of the campaign with an ankle problem picked up in training.
Albert Adomah could return to the starting line-up after making a swift recovery from a knee problem.
Cardiff are, however, likely to be without striker Rudy Gestede for the trip to Bristol City.
Gestede limped off in the first half of the Bluebirds' 2-0 home defeat to West Ham on Sunday with a hamstring problem and missed the 2-2 draw at Brighton in midweek.
Manager Malky Mackay is expected to keep Joe Mason, who netted at the Seagulls, up front alongside Kenny Miller in the Frenchman's absence.
Midfielder Stephen McPhail continues his battle against the onset of Sjogren's Syndrome and he is unlikely to feature at Ashton Gate, while Filip Kiss and Craig Conway will both be hoping for recalls.
On-loan Liam Lawrence made his debut at the Amex Stadium on Wednesday to rave reviews from Mackay, and he is set to keep his place in midfield.
Updates during the game on Facebook and Twitter.
Bristol City v Cardiff CitySaturday 10th March, 2012, ko 5:20pm.Live on Sky Sports
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