Plymouth Argyle - Cardiff City

Despite two more than decent displays, Plymouth remain as one of the serious contenders to relegate. The team haven’t been seriously upgraded and just because the fighting spirit and slight touch of luck, they have two points on the balance. At the first round, they surprised Crystal Palace on the road, taking the lead in the first half and defending the rest of the game, grabbing a point (1-1) at the end. In the previous round, oppositely, they were chasing the result after the half-time. The Pilgrims attacked favorited QPR and got another point in the last minute of the game, by own-goal visitors’ defender Kasparss Gorks! But it is obvious, they lack in quality and boss Paul Sturrock will have a difficult task to keep the club in second tier. Few days ago, club signed Alan Gow from Rangers (worth 200 000 UK Pounds) and hope he’ll shake off a calf injury and get international clearance to play. If he does, midfielder is set to play alongside on-loan Celtic striker Cillian Sheridan, who could get his first start. Skipper Carl Fletcher and defender Kristian Timar are returning in team after injuries. Argyle have not won in six league outings, drawing four and losing two since beating Coventry 4-0 at Home Park on 11 April.

Last season, Cardiff finished one place below the play-offs and that form shows signs of continuing into the new campaign. In the first round, they wished a welcome to new-comers Scunthorpe United with four goals in the net (4-0). Second round brought a trip to Bloomfield Road and hard game against Blackpool. Michael Chopra scored early for a lead, but hosts equalized twenty minutes later. In the rest of the game both sides had few opportunities on wet pitch to notice a win, but 1-1 remained. However, decent result stayed in the shadow of few injuries. The worst situation is with excellent Ross McCormack who faces six to eight weeks out after injuring his hamstring. Boss Dave Jones even took a time for a joke, saying “we're happy because nobody will want to buy Ross now” (meaning on interest of some Premier League teams). Beside him, at the same game defender Paul Quinn has survived a scare over a knee injury and could be back in action against Bristol City on Sunday, while midfielder Stephen McPhail is ready to play after being taken off as a precaution when he felt his hamstring. Gabor Gyepes has shaken off a knock he got playing for Hungary last week. Some youngsters like Adam Matthews (who came on as sub against Plymouth) will get the chance, but anyway visitors are favorites here.

Pilgrims noticed two points against very strong opponents, but tonight will face surely the strongest from those. Fatigue is a big enemy to their fighting attitude and simply I don’t think they can be lucky three times in a row. On the other hand, in each of the past two seasons, Cardiff have drawn more than half of their away league matches - 12 from 23 and instead clear away win I’m covering a draw with Asian handicap. So, 2 AH(0), (or 2 DNB), 1.82 at Pinnacle.

One more later.


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