Apr 19, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Cardiff City Stadium
CardiffCardiff City
StokeStoke City
Whittingham (51' pen.)
Mutch (66'), Cala (74')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Arnautovic (45' pen.)
Odemwingie (48'), Nzonzi (52'), Crouch (85')

Preview: Cardiff City vs. Stoke City

Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between Cardiff City and Stoke City in Wales as the Bluebirds look for crucial points to aid their unlikely escape from the drop.

There is light at the end of the tunnel again for Cardiff City after a surprise win at Southampton last weekend kept their Premier League survival hopes alive.

A second-half strike from Juan Cala earned them a 1-0 success at St Mary's Stadium and lifted them to within three points of safety with four games remaining.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men had been written off following their 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, but their victory last Saturday and other results at the bottom sent the relegation battle wide open again.

The Welsh outfit host Stoke City next, knowing that three points could see them move level with 17th-place Norwich, who welcome high-flying Liverpool to Carrow Road on Sunday afternoon.

Stoke may seem be in midtable limbo in Mark Hughes's first season in charge, but they are showing no signs of drifting away and are currently enjoying their best spell of the campaign so far.

Five wins from seven games has seen them climb into the top half, and the Welshman's targets of a best-ever Premier League finish of 10th and a highest-ever points total of 49 are very much achievable.

He will continue to be without long-term absentees Robert Huth and Oussama Assaidi for their trip to the Cardiff City Stadium, while Matthew Etherington has joined them in the treatment room.

Hughes will name Peter Odemwingie, who has scored four goals since moving from Cardiff to the Potters in an exchange deal in January, up front against the club where he spent just six months.

The other figure in that swap, Kenwyne Jones, is not expected to feature as he continues to nurse a muscle strain, while Craig Noone and Mark Hudson are definitely missing for the Bluebirds.

Andrew Taylor, Declan John and Ben Turner are all defensive injury concerns for Solskjaer, who may not risk any of the trio and stick with the same side that were slender winners over Southampton.

The Norwegian, though, does have the option of using Craig Bellamy or Wifried Zaha, both of whom were brought on as substitutes on the South Coast, from the start if he wants some extra pace in his side.

Recent form

Cardiff: WLDLLW


Possible starting lineups

Cardiff: Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Cala, Fabio; Kim, Medel, Whittingham Mutch; Daehli; Campbell

Stoke: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; N'Zonzi, Whelan; Arnautovic, Ireland, Odemwingie; Crouch

Sports Mole says: 2-2

Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prior to kick-off against Swansea during their Premier League match on February 8, 2014
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