Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra is suffering from a hairline fracture in his ankle, an injury that saw him miss the Nottingham Forest defeat but return to training yesterday with a view to possibly playing tonight.
It would be a real worry to aggrevate such a problem so Chopra will miss out if doubts remain and we will again be without his pace, movement and quality up-front.
There is a plus side however, because although Jon Parkin (selected on Saturday) or Jay Emmanuel-Thomas could partner Bothroyd in attack, Dave Jones ahs another option to potentially get more from his Bluebirds.
Bothroyd has the ability to play at the pinnacle of a 4-3-2-1 system which would allow the inclusion of an extra midfield player to give us an advantage in that crucial area. In my opinion, we would not lack anything in attack using theis formation, with both Bellamy and Burke given licence to push on and peg back the Foxes full-backs.
Quinn, Hudson, Keinan, McNaughton
This formation served us well earlier in the season, but really does not allow for the inclusion of Michael Chopra. We have no like-for-like replacement for Chops and should look to this more fluid set-up in his absence. It suits Olofinjana, who likes to sit deep but break forward only occasionally – he can break up play and keep watch over Andy King’s late runs.
Ramsey and Whittingham have the skill and passing to dominate possession, looking to feed Burke or Bellamy who will look to isolate their pace against the full-back or cut inside and between the centre-back and full-back – this would create big gaps for Ramsey, Bothroyd and co to exploit.
If Chopra is fit, he should play. If not – we must play to our own strengths, and cover our weaknesses i.e. the problematic central midfield area. McPhail or Koumas could also add to a 3-man midfield with Emmanuel-Thomas able to play either wing role.
Is Dave Jones brace enough to take this option, or will it be 4-4-2 regardless…?