Neil Warnock’s Party Time At Cardiff City Stadium

Neil Warnock and his players are preparing a Cardiff City Stadium birthday party tonight (Friday, 7.45pm).

The Bluebirds are at home against Norwich City on Warnock’s 69th birthday and a win would lift Cardiff to within a point of Championship leaders Wolves.

Warnock’s warriors are aiming to earn a fourth successive victory this evening and Norwich manager Daniel Farke says: “Cardiff have some big bullies in their team.”

Farke expects a physical battle, while Warnock won’t be having a drink after the final whistle win, lose or draw.

“It’s unusual to have a game on my birthday,” he says. “I won’t be having a drink, I’ll be driving to see the grandkids and stopping off in Nottingham.

“I’m doing the Notts County FA Cup game on Saturday (for BT Sport) so it’ll be nice to go to the other side of Nottingham and be welcomed.

“I’ve been told the new 70 is 50 so I’m 49 on Friday and looking forward to it.”

The Bluebirds have a steely approach to their matches, but they also have a lot of ability in their team and welcome back striker Omar Bogle after a three-match suspension.

Farke admires Warnock’s style, saying: “He knows how to win games and you can see how he wants his team to play. He wants a lot of experience at the back and concentrate simply on defending well, they are well-organised.

“Cardiff have a good attitude. They have won many games by the odd goal this season, are in the promotion position and have not lost at home all season. They have conceded the smallest amount of goals in the whole league so it will be a big test.”

Farke is expecting his team to be put under pressure, saying: “Cardiff are really good on set-pieces, with long balls and aggressive pressing. We have to control this game with our possession and keep the ball far away from our goal.

“When they are close to our goal there will be crosses, corners, free kicks and throws and that is difficult to defend.

“They have some physical advantages. They have some big bullies in the team. If you try to copy their style I think they would be the better team so we have to bring our style to the pitch.”

Norwich are on a run of six Championship games without a win, but Farke says defiantly: “We are not scared about going to Cardiff. We are full of respect, but it is a chance for us.”

The Bluebirds are likely to go with an unchanged line-up from their win at Nottingham Forest and Warnock said: “Mendez-Laing and Gunnarson have done some light training.

“Zohore won’t be in the reckoning, but I don’t think the other lads will be back either.

“I don’t envisage any changes.”

Danny Ward will again lead the attack with Bogle among the substitutes.

Cardiff City: Etheridge, Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett, Paterson, Damour, Ralls, Hoilett, Bryson, Ward. Subs: Peltier, Halford, Gounongbe, Tomlin, Feeney, Murphy, Feltscher, Bogle.

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