Neil Warnock Ponders Big Changes To Bluebirds Starting Line-Up

Neil Warnock is set to make up to eight changes to his Bluebirds’ starting line-up for their Carabao Cup first round tie against Portsmouth at home this evening (Tuesday, 7.45pm).

Warnock’s priority is Championship progress and he looks certain to rotate players tonight with a big match against Aston Villa at Cardiff City Stadium this Saturday (3pm).

Midfield player Stuart O’Keefe will be involved in the squad and could start, while goalkeeper Brian Murphy, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Loic Damour and Danny Ward are among others who could be given the nod.

Murphy and Mendez-Laing are both former Portsmouth players.

Defender Matthew Connolly and winger Matty Kennedy are likely to miss out with injuries, while Kadeem Harris, Rhys Healey and Callum Paterson are other who are not available.

Former Wales international and Swansea manager Kenny Jackett is in charge of the Pompey team and he selects from an 18-man squad.

Newly-promoted Portsmouth, who won the League Two title in 2016-17, opened the new season with a 2-0 home win against Rochdale.

More than 800 away fans will be in Cardiff for the cup clash and Jackett has said he will not be making wholesale changes to his team from the league win.

Craig Noone and Declan John have been out of favour, but Warnock may consider including one or both of them in the 18-man matchday group along with O’Keefe.

Ipswich are interested in signing Noone, who is available for a fee of around £500,000.

Noone, 29, did not feature in first team pre-season fixtures and Warnock has said the winger needs a new challenge.

“He needs a move and I think he’ll do well for the team he goes to, but I’m not in a rush,” said Warnock. “He doesn’t cause me any problems, he’s a good lad.”

Ipswich and Burton Albion are among the clubs interested.

If Noone were to sign for Ipswich he would become the third player make the move from South Wales to Portman Road this summer. They paid a transfer fee for Wales international Emyr Huws and signed midfield player Tom Adeyemi, who was out of contract at Cardiff.

Cardiff City: B Murphy; L Peltier, S Morrison (capt), B Manga, J Richards, N Mendez-Laing, G Halford, L Damour, S O’Keefe, A Pilkington, D Ward. Subs, from: N Etheridge (gk), S Bamba, A Gunnarsson, J Bennett, J Ralls, J Hoilett, L Tomlin, K Zohore.

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