Date: 20th March 2007 at 1:01pm
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The news feared by Cardiff City fans is that 21 goal striker Michael Chopra is confirmed sidelined for around a month. Chopra limped off after 35 minutes of the 3-1 defeat at Derby County, just moments after crashing a shot onto the bar.

It is not just the goals (Steve Thompson is next highest scorer with 6) that Chopra adds to the team but his intelligent runs are a constant menace to teams and allow the likes of Whittingham and Parry more space while the Geordie’s workrate is second to none as he harries and hassles defenders as well as winning ball for the side.

Jason Byrne is the likely replacement for Chopra. The Irishman scored a goal on debut but has since then failed to make an impression and his parnership with Thompson lacked communication and bite on Saturday. Matt Green could also play a part, the pacy marksman looks a tricky customer and is not short on confidence.

Although a big blow to lose Chopra, Cardiff do have some options up front and hope to have ‘Rocky’ back in 4 weeks for the final three games wchich will be crucial and winnable should City still be in with a chance of reaching the play-offs. That task looks tougher now, without the divisions leading striker but gives a chance to others to step forward and the entire team will need to play differently to make up for Chopra’s absence.

Chopra would also be available for the play-off games if Cardiff do make it without him.