December 2, 2012
Bluebirds bolstered by quartet
Team Stat Comparison
|Cardiff City||Sheffield Wednesday|
|Goals for *||1.6||1.0|
|Goals against *||0.7||1.1|
|Last 5 home||D-D-W-D-W||W-D-W-W-L|
|Last 5 away||D-D-D-L-W||L-D-L-W-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Cardiff City | Sheffield Wednesday|
Cardiff are set to be boosted by the return of four first-team regulars as they attempt to pile further pressure on former boss Dave Jones when his Sheffield Wednesday side head to south Wales on Sunday.
Jones' successor Malky Mackay, who has overseen nine successive wins at the Cardiff City Stadium, is likely to have Kevin McNaughton (thigh), Ben Turner (hamstring), Andrew Taylor (calf) and Don Cowie (knee) at his disposal after all four missed the midweek draw at Derby.
The npower Championship leaders will face a Wednesday side who have lost their last five games, scoring just twice, without Craig Noone as the former Brighton winger is suspended having been sent off at Pride Park. On-loan Norwich man Simon Lappin returns after serving his one-match ban.
Meanwhile, Tommy Smith has begun running after his hamstring injury but is a few weeks away from a return while long-serving midfielder Stephen McPhail has moved closer to a first-team comeback after two 90 minute run-outs for the development team.
Sheffield Wednesday will give late fitness tests to Anthony Gardner, Lewis Buxton and Rhys McCabe.
Centre-half Gardner and right-back Buxton were both forced out of the midweek home defeat to Watford with hamstring injuries, while midfielder McCabe was withdrawn due to an ankle problem. All three players are rated very doubtful.
Should Gardner not make it Martin Taylor is likely to step in alongside Miguel Llera at the heart of defence, while Kieran Lee and Joe Mattock provide Jones with options at right-back if Buxton is ruled out.
Jose Semedo is expected to be recalled to the starting line-up in midfield if McCabe is ruled out alongside Chris Lines, who made his first start of the season on Tuesday night following a long-term groin injury.
Striker Mamady Sidibe, on loan from Stoke, is expected to continue up front after making his Owls debut in midweek, with Jay Bothroyd part of a five-man midfield, as the Owls chase their first league win in six matches.