Date: 25th February 2011 at 12:12pm
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Cardiff City`s powerful Nigerian midfielder Seyi Olofinjana is rated doubtful for tomorrow`s clash against his parent club Hull City presenting manager Dave Jones with a selection dilemma.

Whilst City have a number of creative and skilful players to deputise and partner Aaron Ramsey, we will be desperately short of muscle and power in the centre of the park, a role Olofinjana has played increasingly well of late. Peter Whittingham and Steve McPhail are the likely candidates to slot alongside on-loan Arsenal ace Ramsey, while Jason Koumas and Darcy Blake are long shots for the role.

An alternative tactic for Dave Jones would be to switch to the 4-5-1, fluid system that helped nullify Leicester City on Tuesday and remained effective after Olofinjana was withdrawn with his knee complaint. Whilst appearing a negative tactic, this formation actually frees up the widemen (Bellamy and Burke/Emmanuel-Thomas) to push further upfield whilst ensuring that the midfield remains competitive with a 3-man unit.

>


Heaton,


Quinn, Hudson, Keinan, McNaughton


McPhail, Ramsey, Whittingham


Burke                                     Bellamy


Bothroyd



I have no doubt that a Ramsey, Whitts, McPhail central three would be extremely creative and their intricate passing and ability on the ball could create significant opportunities for Jay Bothroyd, whose presence up-front alone would also be sufficient to bring the midfield into play.

Michael Chopra is sacrificed in order to adopt this formation, but he is suffering from a hairline fracture to his ankle bone and, whilst he remains available, would surely benefit from a rest and could be held in reserve for later in the game.

This formation has been used to great effect against the Bluebirds, and is especially effective when playing away from home. We don`t have the players to sit back and play for a 0-0 but this 4-5-1 -> 4-3-3 system appears well suited to our personnel and worked well in midweek. Dave Jones will certainly be giving it serious consideration should Olofinjana be unavailable.

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