Cardiff City travel to a rejuvenated Stoke City tomorrow hoping to strengthen their hold on the play-off places.
It should be an entertaining clash at the bete365 Stadium, with the Bluebirds having won their last two Championship fixtures, whereas the Potters have surged up the table with nine points from nine. Let’s take a look at the 11 players Erol Bulut could field tomorrow:
GK – Jak Alnwick
The Scottish stopper has been in the sticks for 13 of the clubs 14 league fixtures so far this season. In those games he’s amassed five clean sheets, the latest of which coming in the 2-0 home victory against Bristol City.
RB – Perry Ng
The fullback has been one of the standout players for the Bluebirds this season. He has played in 13 out of 14 league fixtures, notching three goals and one assist. He was on the scoresheet in the win against Bristol last time out.
CB – Dimitrios Goutas
The Greek defender has been a rock at the back since he joined the club over the summer. He has started every league game so far this season, managing two goals for his new side so far.
CB – Mark McGuiness
It has been a consistent pair at the back for City, as McGuiness has also started every fixture so far this season next to Goutas. He has also managed two goals so far this season.
LB – Jamilu Collins
Collins has regained his position at left back after missing the majority of last season through injury. He’s made 12 appearances in the league to date, and is the main option in the position at the moment, with Callum O’Dowda sidelined through injury. He’s managed two assists for the Bluebirds so far this term.
CM – Manolis Siopis
Arguably the most impressive of the squad so far this season. Joining as a free transfer in the summer, Siopis has transformed the midfield, bringing much needed energy and bite. He has appeared in 12 of the 14 league fixtures, with the only two he missed taking place before he joined the club.
CM – Joe Ralls (C)
The skipper is expected to continue his run in the starting 11, with Aaron Ramsey out injured until the end of November at least. He’s made 12 league appearances, contributing one goal and four assists so far this season. He has started every game since Ramsey has been absent.
CAM – Callum Robinson
This is probably the toughest decision for manager Erol Bulut this weekend. Robinson has started the last two games for the Welsh side, including a goal in the 4-0 victory over Huddersfield Town. The place could also fall to youngster Rubin Colwill, who scored a spectacular goal off the bench in the last game against Bristol after replacing Robinson.
RW – Josh Bowler
The loanee from Nottingham Forest has only managed seven appearances so far this season due to injury. He’s started the last three league fixtures and also got on the scoresheet in the win against Huddersfield. He now looks set to make the position his own. With the attacking talent at his disposal, he is sure to be a main source of creation for the side.
LW – Karlan Grant
Another loanee, this time from West Brom. He has been an ever present in the squad so far this season, but has yet to be involved in the goal scoring action as much as he would have liked, with only one goal and two assists. The goals and assists are sure to start flowing though as he continues his run in the starting 11.
ST – Yakou Méïté
Another position that could be subject to change. City attacker Iké Ugbo began the season up top, but has missed out to Méïté in recent weeks, with him starting the last two games. He has only managed one goal so far this season though. There could be the potential for club top scorer Kion Etete (five goals) to start, after his return from injury, but it is likely he will start on the bench after the lay off.
It has been a great start to the season for Cardiff City, as they look to extend the two game winning run away to Stoke City. The Bluebirds currently sit fifth in the league and will look to stay in the hunt for the play-off positions.
It won’t be an easy game as Stoke, who are currently 11th in the table, but are coming off the back of a three game winning streak. Their latest result being a very impressive 2-0 win away to Middlesbrough.