Neil Warnock. Pic: Getty Images.
Neil Warnock has been mulling over making changes to his Cardiff City starting line-up, but the Bluebirds manager looks set to go with an unchanged team at Preston North End.
Striker Danny Ward and central midfield player Craig Bryson are the main contenders to step in, but Warnock seems to have settled on sticking with the same team.
Kenneth Zohore looked a little jaded at times during the 1-1 draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage and Ward went on to score City’s goal.
Bryson, signed from Derby County on loan, impressed when he went on for Loic Damour.
Cardiff are unbeaten and top of the Championship table on 16 points from six matches and face Preston at their Deepdale home this evening (7.45pm).
Yorkshireman Warnock spent almost £4m and signed 10 players in a bid to strengthen Cardiff’s squad and ensure they be among the Championship leaders this season.
He has been promoted seven times during his career and has made it clear he wants to make it eight before he retires from management.
Preston manager Alex Neil knows Danish striker Zohore will be a potent threat, saying: “Players like Zohore, who can run in behind with the pace and power he has and is also strong enough to link play, can make it difficult for defenders.
“Generally, players can do one or the other, but if someone can do both they can cause problems. Get too tight to them, they can roll you and go in behind, if you sit off them, they can link play and help their players get up the pitch.
“Zohore is a handful at this level.”
Preston look likely to be without key midfield pair Ben Pearson and Daniel Johnson. They both missed Preston’s draw against Barnsley.
Alan Browne and Paul Gallagher stand by to replace Pearson and Johnson, while Warnock will want his midfield players, Aron Gunnarsson, Joe Ralls and Damour, to dominate through that area. All three have been in good form.
This is a second match in four days for both teams and Cardiff travel with confidence. Warnock, though, has the strength in depth to change things from the substitutes bench and send on players who can make a difference.
Ward, Bryson, Liam Feeney and Lee Tomlin are all attacking players who could easily be in City’s starting line-up.
More than 350 Bluebirds fans will be at Deepdale to support their team against Preston, who have former Bluebirds chairman Peter Ridsdale in charge of day-to-day affairs at the club.
Cardiff City, probable: Etheridge, Peltier, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett, Gunnarsson, Ralls, Mendez-Laing, Damour, Hoilett, Zohore. Subs: Manga, Richards, Bryson, Feeney, Ward, Tomlin, Murphy.
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