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Cardiff V West Ham at Cardiff City Stadium : Match Preview
Published : 03 Mar 2012 14:01:25
Bluebirds refreshed after Wembley trip
Cardiff manager Malky Mackay hopes to have the vast majority of his squad available for the visit of West Ham in the npower Championship on Sunday.
Despite the exertions of last weekend's valiant Carling Cup defeat to Liverpool on penalties, Mackay has insisted none of his players have picked up any new injuries as they take on the second-placed Hammers at the Cardiff City Stadium.
He told Wales Online: "Everybody is feeling a lot better and 99.9 per cent of the problems at Wembley were down to cramp.
There is nothing major." However, Mackay will have to wait to find out if any of the eight members of his side who went off on international duty during the week - including first-team regulars Kenny Miller, Aron Gunnarsson and Don Cowie - sustained knocks.
Midfielder Stephen McPhail will be absent for Cardiff. The 32-year-old is continuing his battle against Sjogren's Syndrome and, although he is confident he will be able to play some part in the run-in, the clash comes too soon. Kevin Nolan returns to the West Ham squad.
Nolan has completed a three-match ban for his sending-off in the derby win over Millwall last month.
Boss Sam Allardyce is expected to reinstate his captain in the starting line-up despite the Hammers' creditable displays without him.
Fellow midfielder Matt Taylor serves the final game of a three-match ban for his red card in the draw with Southampton.
Striker Carlton Cole could return to the starting line-up after dropping to the bench for the first half of last weekend's goalless draw against Crystal Palace.
Defender Winston Reid will be assessed after suffering a head injury playing for New Zealand, midfielder Papa Bouba Diop is still out with hamstring trouble and forward John Carew is struggling with a knee problem.
Cardiff V West Ham - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.