After a turbulent end to the transfer deadline, Cardiff City is back in action today, taking on Preston North End in a televised lunchtime clash
Both teams had an almost identical start to the season and entered this clash with one win, one draw and two losses to their name.
The Bluebirds were no doubt bowled over by the capture of Liverpool’s Harry Wilson on loan, while Filip Benkovic was also brought in from Leicester City
Indeed, after such a dramatic end of the window, Neil Harris will be eager to see his team now focus on getting points on the board to tackle what has been a rather indifferent start so far.
City will certainly need to be at their best to claim the three points this afternoon, with last season’s 3-1 win here, their first at Deepdale in nine years
Here’s how City line-up Cunnigham will take on his former club, with Bennett giving way, likely due to that hamstring issue
Meanwhile, Joe Ralls enters midfield to fill the void left by suspended Lee Tomlin
Two changes – @ Cunningham_17 & @Joe_Ralls are coming! Our three new #Bluebirds are on the bench this afternoon # CityAsOne photoTwittercom / lvG7tLSUCi
TEAM NEWS: Your #pnefc squad for today Manager Alex Neil names starting XL unchanged since 4-2 win over Brentford Daniel Johnson returns to squad after injury #COYW picTwittercom / 47FpcBOQ62
The team has arrived and we will hear from the team at 11am! What would be your starting xl for today’s game? #pnefc picTwittercom / 65OxSIkChT
Given COVID-19 and the huge success of Vincent Tan’s leisure activities in the Far East, the summer transfer window was always going to be difficult for Cardiff City
Would the charismatic Malaysian owner of the Bluebirds push the boat again for massive promotion – or cut the budget drastically, leading to mid-table mediocrity?
In the end, thanks to the judicious negotiations led by President Mehmet Dalman and General Manager Ken Choo, the Bluebirds were left with a total contradiction of the best of both worlds
They suddenly have a much better team – but they managed to achieve it by spending less money
But it’s a feat that the Cardiff hierarchy has indeed pulled off in a transfer window that leaves fans excited about what the future holds for them for the rest of the 2020-21 campaign
« Obviously the suspension of Lee Tomlin is a good thing for us as he is always dangerous whether he starts or comes off the bench
« Look, it’s gonna be a tough game, every time we play Cardiff it’s – last year was the only time they’ve beaten us since I’ve been here so we want to do another good performance »
« Special attention was given to Preston I would like to see more consistency in us and it starts Sunday afternoon
« It’s a tough place to go; tough opposition and a well-organized squad under Alex Neil We know we’re going to have a tough game, but the players have been brilliant, absolutely brilliant »
The teams will drop in just under half an hour, but here’s what we can expect
New hires Harry Wilson and Filip Benkovic could feature well this afternoon, though Lee Tomlin is suspended after being kicked out at Ewood Park
Harris is optimistic about Kieffer Moore’s fitness after his stint on international duty with Wales, but could make a late decision on Joe Bennett, who had a little hock
Meanwhile, Preston’s Darnell Fisher is closer to a return from his hamstring injury but will not appear this afternoon, as there are also doubts about Alan Browne, having had to quarantine due to one of his Republic of Ireland teammates tested positive for Covid-19 during the international break
The last week of the transfer window has been hectic, but now serious business is picking up
Cardiff is in action again and Neil Harris will be eager to see his side build on some of the brightest spells in the 0-0 draw with Blackburn ahead of the international break
A victory would certainly be the icing on the cake after the last two largely successful days for the Bluebirds
Preston North End FC, Cardiff City FC, EFL Championship, Neil Harris, Daniel Johnson, Alan Browne, Alex Neil
World News – GB – Preston North End v Cardiff City en direct
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