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Cardiff V Stoke at Cardiff City Stadium : LIVE

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By: Tyrone King 19 Apr 2014 07:09:07

Cardiff V Stoke at Cardiff City Stadium : LIVE

Cardiff V Stoke - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Jones could return for Cardiff

Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reported no fresh injury concerns ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at home to Stoke.


Winger Craig Noone remains sidelined due to an abdominal injury, but Kenwyne Jones could feature against his former club after he missed last weekend's 1-0 victory over Southampton following a blow to the kidneys suffered during the Crystal Palace game seven days earlier.


Aron Gunnarsson, who has been linked to an alleged leak of team information,will also be invovled.


Cardiff's immediate challenge is to halt a Stoke side that has lost just one of its last seven league games.


The Bluebirds, in contrast, are three points from safety with just four games left, although they will hope to summon the spirit of Southampton last weekend when they claimed an unexpected 1-0 win at St Mary's.


"With Aron's situation the last couple of days it has probably brought the team closer," goalkeeper David Marshall said.


"That was one of our main strengths last year, how tight the group was, and even though the things we have gone through this year - the change of manager, change of personnel and staff - it has remained like that.


"It probably felt as if we had a point to prove after the Palace game and all the stuff that came out before Southampton, and that showed in our performance."


Mark Hughes has warned his Stoke players there can be no relaxation now they have done enough to be sure of Premier League football next season.


Last weekend's 1-0 win over Newcastle left the Potters 13 points clear of the relegation battle but as they prepare for Saturday's trip to Wales, Hughes has demanded his team maintain the momentum which assured them of safety.


Stoke are 10th in the table, and if they can hold on to that position or even improve it it will be their highest ever finish in the Premier League, with former manager Tony Pulis and his Crystal Palace side those putting on the pressure behind.


"We haven't allowed the season to drift to its conclusion, and we aren't going to allow that to happen," Hughes said. "We are chasing targets that we have set ourselves, and if we can reach them then it will have been a very good season for us.


"Achieving one or two things that the club haven't done before would be fantastic. We won't sit here and pat ourselves on the back because we have had a good run of results because we have achieved nothing yet."


Cardiff reignited their survival hopes with victory at Saints, leaving them three points behind Norwich and the promise of safety.


"They will be buoyed by their recent win at Southampton and they will be determined to build upon that," Hughes said. "They are very much involved in a relegation fight so they are desperate to register maximum points on Saturday.


"Back to back wins can do wonders for you, so a lot of the emphasis for them this week would be to make sure they follow up last weekend's victory with another against ourselves.


"It will be important for us not to allow them to gain a foothold on the game because if they do that then we will be under pressure.


"We want to assert ourselves on them and try to take the game away from them. We are playing well and we are picking up points so it is a fixture we are all looking forward to."


Charlie Adam should be available for the match after an operation on his broken nose earlier in the week, but Matthew Etherington remains out while the match is probably too soon for Oussama Assaidi.



PA

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