Cardiff (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

Our biggest game of the season to date and a must win if we want to get our season back on track?

I keep telling myself not to put *too* much pressure on this one given our wretched home record and the injury issues we’re dealing with, but this really does feel like it could be a turning point.

The midweek replay at Blackburn took its toll – with us going to extra time and picking up several knocks we could’ve done without – but it was a much needed win which will hopefully give us confidence heading into this one.

Any takeover or transfer news has dried up, but a win tomorrow would be the perfect antidote to the total lack of activity elsewhere.

Preferred XI

Here’s the team I’d like to see, followed by the side I expect Rafa to go with:




Diame’s return could be huge – but it will all depend on whether he does pass a late fitness test. Rafa may not risk him and opt to have Hayden partnering Longstaff instead, but big Mo’s presence could be key against a physical Cardiff side.

Many may be surprised if Rafa went without Schar – someone whose ball playing ability can be key at home. However, Cardiff are a physical side who’ll throw balls into the box, so I can’t see us going without the likes of Lascelles (if fit) or Fernandez. Lejeune also seems likely to play given how good he’s looked on his return from a serious knee injury – not forgetting the fact he got a rest in midweek while Schar played the full 120 minutes.

The rest of the team pretty much picks itself right now for me, with Atsu earning his spot over an out of sorts Kenedy and Ritchie likely to operate as a wing-back once again – providing Rafa does stick with five at the back..

Predicted NUFC XI – (5-2-2-1) – Dubravka– Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lejeune, Ritchie – Longstaff, Hayden – Perez, Atsu – Rondon.

The Opposition

Here’s a few ‘ones to watch’ in the Cardiff side:

Victor Camarasa – The Spaniard, on loan from Real Betis, looks like their classiest and most creative player every time I watch them. He scored a late stunner in their late win at Leicester a few weeks ago and seems to have an eye for a pass or a goal. They generally lack quality in their side, but he is one of few exceptions.

Neil Etheridge – The big goalkeeper has been key for them this season, keeping 6 clean sheets and making several impressive saves in games they would’ve lost without him. He was the man who saved Kenedy’s late penalty in Cardiff back in August..

Josh Murphy – The brother of our very own Jacob Murphy and a player who’s looked the better twin from what I’ve seen of him. Manquillo couldn’t get close to him the last time the two sides met.

Ecuele Manga – The 6ft 3′ defender is a centre-back playing at right-back and someone we didn’t expose in our first meeting thanks to Kenedy’s horror show. He’s a solid defender, but Atsu could get the better of him IF he turns up and has a go.

Predicted Cardiff XI (4-1-4-1) Etheridge – Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett – Gunnarsson – Hoillett, Camarasa, Arter, Murphy – Paterson.

Team news

Shelvey and Dummett have been ruled out, but Diame and Lascelles will both be assessed late on after returning to training. Kenedy is set to return after overcoming a toe injury, with Rafa ‘optimistic’ that Clark, Hayden and Schar will be fine after picking up knocks in midweek.

Club captain and starting centre-back Morrison could miss out for Cardiff, with Warnock also confirming that three unnamed players are facing late fitness tests.

Imminent club record signing Emiliano Sala won’t sign in time to make the squad, but Everton loanee Oumar Niasse is available and could make his debut.

Match Prediction

We’ve been struggling to score goals at home, so the fact Cardiff have kept three clean sheets in their last 4 in the league isn’t ideal – especially when two were away at Palace and Leicester.

They’ll pose a real physical threat and will be a tough nut to crack, but I fancy us to get that all important win in this one.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-0 Cardiff

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

71 thoughts on “Cardiff (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

  1. Looking at the fixtures of Fulham and Huddersfield we have such a good opportunity to put real distance between us and them. Which means we will **** yo it royally!

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  2. Rafa will walk at season end now that little rat Wise is back in the fold even had met things with Penfold and with the other rat bags

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  3. I think jabba is really trying to have a dig at the fans as he knows how much he’s hated,this could really set the fans mad while he sits back and lap it up

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  4. Icedog:
    I think jabba is really trying to have a dig at the fans as he knows how much he’s hated,this could really set the fans mad while he sits back and lap it up

    I know we don’t protest too well, but this may well be the final straw for many. I’m almost done with it all now.

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  5. Well the Wise news distracts people from talking about
    Dubai problem he has
    Fakeover
    lack of transfers
    Rafa leaving

    Good bit of PR spin, not daft is he .

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  6. Craig Hope
    @CraigHope_DM
    Exclusive: Mike Ashley close to conceding defeat in effort to sell NUFC. None of interested parties able to fund deal & Kenyon gone quiet. Ashley set to be at SJP today & is making plans on assumption he’ll remain owner. Dennis Wise NOT involved with club (link:

    And there it is, stand by for the club announcement that sale is off , just as i said a day ago.
    Was never happening but was a great way to stall on transfers yet again. IF we buy loan anyone it will be peanuts laid out and a few weeks saved on wages.
    pathetic utterly pathetic.

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  7. Jabba given up hope of selling the club and will be there today. Why? What good will it do for him being there?

    I still think given the amount of money needed spent on the club for it to be fit for purpose £300m is too much to ask.

    I think we can basically say Rafa won’t be here next season. I hope most of the supporters aren’t either.

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  8. KIMTOON:
    Craig Hope
    @CraigHope_DM
    Exclusive: Mike Ashley close to conceding defeat in effort to sell NUFC. None of interested parties able to fund deal & Kenyon gone quiet. Ashley set to be at SJP today & is making plans on assumption he’ll remain owner. Dennis Wise NOT involved with club (link:

    And there it is, stand by for the club announcement that sale is off , just as i said a day ago.
    Was never happening but was a great way to stall on transfers yet again. IF we buy loan anyone it will be peanuts laid out and a few weeks saved on wages.
    pathetic utterly pathetic.

    Kim – to be fair I’m not sure this was a PR stunt as both parties paid money on lawyer fees for Kenyon to look over the books.
    It seems Kenyon can’t raise the funds – which is more on him than Ashley.
    People say if he was serious about selling he’d reduce the asking price – but if reports are to be believed, there has been as many as 4 interested parties – 5 if we include Staveley.

    Where I do blame Ashley, is there should have been a timeframe put on this. As in ‘you have until the 15th Jan to process to exclusivity’ because business has to continue, and we will have to implement our plan with Rafa on what’s happening in the transfer window.

    If it’s looking likely the club will be sold I wouldn’t expect Ashley to have any plans for the transfer window (if he ran the club properly). But if there is doubt or it looks unlikely, then there should be plans in place for that too. I would expect it to be minimal funding or loan deals again, but I’d expect something.

    In terms of the sale, I’m more annoyed with Kenyon than Ashley. What’s to say he’s not dragging his heals to avoid a transfer window?.
    I don’t believe Ashley is the only businessman to use underhand tactics.

    But then Ashley goes and brings Wise back. I see no reason or sense in that other than just to pi$$ the fans off. That’s a $hits move and the protests should start again – they should double the efforts and target his stores – SD, HoF and Debenhams. If he wants to play dirty, then it should be returned 10 fold.

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  9. half time and we should be more than 1.0 up, second half will be tougher for sure and boy this ref is shocking, getting mugged off by Cardiff players all half.

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  10. The Chronicle

    Verified account

    @ChronicleNUFC
    37m37 minutes ago
    More
    ‘Stand up if you hate Ashley’ sings SJP.

    And most of the ground is on its feet.

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  11. Soz Kim, don’t usually post during the game when I can watch it, I wait until half time. Ok first half and great goal by Shar but I agree the ref has been sh.ite. Giving everything to Cardiff. We really need to go at it in second half and kill this one off. Longstaff doing well again, but I feel Rondon is a bit quiet and Perez needs to stop falling over.

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  12. Dubai Toon:
    Soz Kim, don’t usually post during the game when I can watch it, I wait until half time. Ok first half and great goal by Shar but I agree the ref has been sh.ite. Giving everything to Cardiff. We really need to go at it in second half and kill this one off. Longstaff doing well again, but I feel Rondon is a bit quiet and Perez needs to stop falling over.

    Agree on all that mate, disappointed with Rondon today, needs to step it up.

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  13. jeepers how are we not out of sight.

    Can’t blame Ron for putting it out if the lads taken one to the face, very sporting.

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  14. Getinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
    Scharrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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  15. not one of our forwards on the score sheet yet, piss poor.
    Get your fat moth infested wallet out Mike,ya tight arsed f uck.

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  16. I would mind seeing him give Roberts some PL game time too – good game to do it being 2-0 up and I’m sure the home fans would give him a warm welcome and get behind him. I see him as a better goal threat than Atsu behind Rondon.

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  17. Neal Maupay scores again for Brentford – 17 for the season so far. Would love to see us go for him – defo think he would work in Rafas system.

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  18. Sharpy17:
    Neal Maupay scores again for Brentford – 17 for the season so far.Would love to see us go for him – defo think he would work in Rafas system.

    Do you reckon he could make the step up mate

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  19. Getinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn#
    Ayozeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    and that’s that

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  20. KIMTOON: Do you reckon he could make the step up mate

    Kim – he’s only 21 so by no means the finished product, but I really think he could. He could either be that player behind Rondon with Perez or the back up forward in place of Joselu.

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  21. Sharpy17: Kim – he’s only 21 so by no means the finished product, but I really think he could.He could either be that player behind Rondon with Perez or the back up forward in place of Joselu.

    not really seen much of the lad if i’m honest but frankly anyones better than Joselu .

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  22. Get innnnn …. 3-0. Great win for us, we really needed that one. Still only 17th but out the bottom 3 for now. Probably be right back in it next week but let’s see. Enjoying the win. That will help our goal difference too which could be worth another point. Pity Rafa didn’t make more subs though. Felt that Roberts could’ve got some minutes. … happy today. 😁😁 makes a change.

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  23. Well that’s a very good day at the office!!
    3 goals and a clean sheet … when was the last time that happened?!?!?!!

    I said mid week that I like Schar in that 3 CB system, but I’m not sure how he’d be in a 2 man CB – but he definitely adds something to the side when he’s in there.
    I think Longstaff bossed that midfield again today and thought Rondon was excellent up front again – a touch of class when he put the ball out coz the Cardiff lad took one in the face – and a cracking bit of play for Perez goal .. I was shouting for him to take it to the corner if I’m honest.

    Only downside – we won 3-0 when Jabba was there to witness it. I don’t suppose that will help with getting players in this month.

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  24. Sharpy17:
    Well that’s a very good day at the office!!
    3 goals and a clean sheet … when was the last time that happened?!?!?!!

    I said mid week that I like Schar in that 3 CB system, but I’m not sure how he’d be in a 2 man CB – but he definitely adds something to the side when he’s in there.
    I think Longstaff bossed that midfield again today and thought Rondon was excellent up front again – a touch of class when he put the ball out coz the Cardiff lad took one in the face – and a cracking bit of play for Perez goal .. I was shouting for him to take it to the corner if I’m honest.

    Only downside – we won 3-0 when Jabba was there to witness it.I don’t suppose that will help with getting players in this month.

    Jabba don’t need any excuses sharpy, win lose or draw that mouldy old wallet isn’t coming out any time soon unless he buys another company.

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  25. KIMTOON: not really seen much of the lad if i’m honest but frankly anyones better than Joselu .

    Kim – I know, it’s difficult when Joselu is the benchmark like 🙄. The lad wouldn’t be a prolific goal scorer – he’s not a poacher type forward, but he definitely knows where the goal is and he’s the type of forward who would create chances as well. The lad works his socks off too – it’s kind of the Brentford way really. Depends how much they’d want for him – but they are down in 17th at the mo and even the play offs look beyond them.

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