Cardiff v Newcastle preview

12 September 2009 02:06
Third-placed Cardiff host Championship leaders Newcastle in a mouth-watering clash on Sunday. The unbeaten Mapies have taken 13 points from their opening five games as Chris Hughton's side look to return to the top flight at the first time of asking. But Dave Jones' Bluebirds will prove no pushovers given they have won every game at the Cardiff City Stadium this season. Bluebirds newsJay Bothroyd has handed Cardiff a major boost by declaring himself fit for Sunday's game. The striker was forced off after just nine minutes of the 2-0 defeat at Doncaster a fortnight ago, with fears the hamstring injury may have exacerbated an underlying knee problem. But that has not been the case and Bothroyd returned to training this week and is ready to partner Michael Chopra - currently the top goalscorer in England. The Newcastle-born marksman will be desperate to prove himself against his former employers and, having registered eight goals in seven games so far this season, he will be the man to watch. Joe Ledley will continue to play on despite breaking a bone in his wrist, wearing a cast to protect himself from further damage. Cardiff's other internationals who were also away with their respective countries in midweek - David Marshall, Gavin Rae and Gabor Gyepes - are all expected to be okay. But forward Ross McCormack (hamstring) and defender Kevin McNaughton (ankle) remain sidelined. Magpies newsNewcastle striker Shola Ameobi will be sidelined for several weeks after undergoing surgery on a foot problem. The 27-year-old limped off during the 4-3 Carling Cup victory over Huddersfield on 26th August and has been out of action since with what has been described as a 'stress injury'. Strike partner Andy Carroll will also miss Sunday's trip with a groin strain, once again leaving teenager Nile Ranger as caretaker boss Hughton's only fit frontman. Jonas Gutierrez (hamstring) is also still out, while deadline day signing Peter Lovenkrands is short of match fitness. But midfielder Nicky Butt is available after suffering a slight ankle injury on his return to action from a dislocated thumb, while Fabricio Coloccini will be assessed after his late return from international duty with Argentina.

Source: SKY_Sports