I was once sat in a Cardiff pub. The Mackintosh pub, to be precise. It was New Year’s Day and despite being hungover from the night befores escapades, we’d already started drinking and were planning that night adventures. I think they were playing Man United and most fans, as is tradition in Cardiff, were supporting United. Except for one. A guy who, for some reason, would periodically walk in and out of the main room and shout SMETHWICK on his way for a cigarette.
And, honestly, that’s all I can think about when it comes to West Brom. That and chanting Lee Hughes is a murderer. Which led to this incredibly strange match report from the Guardian:
WBA vs. Cardiff City
Saturday 5th October. 3pm.
Referee: John Brooks
How Cardiff City may lineup
Three things to watch out for…
Paterson or Ralls to start. Away at a pretty good WBA side, we may need to bolster our midfield. Tomlin is good at home but could become a luxury away. And Paterson looked much improved against QPR, with a really good finish. Paterson also offers a slightly unhinged take on football and assists us defensively. Ralls may also come back in, depending on his injury. Ralls is probably our most dynamic midfielder and Warnock favoured him alongside Bacuna and Pack.
Hoilett for Murphy. Murphy is probably our most attacking talent but he’s yet to his consistent form. Everyone knows that Neil Warnock likes Hoilett’s defensive work and, to repeat myself, away at WBA that could be important. Plus, Hoilett is a bloody good footballer and can pull some brilliant moments out the bag.
Smithies or Etheridge? A presenter from the Championship show on Love Sport Radio put it to me that he was surprised Etheridge didn’t go right back in the starting XI. And I both agree and disagree. Smithies hasn’t done anything wrong in his time in goals. He looks solid, unfussy, and his kicking is actually good. Etheridge sometimes flaps at corners and I’m still not sure he’s left or right footed. But he is a brilliant shot stopper and incredibly agile. Smithies surely starts tomorrow but is it a matter of time before Etheridge comes back?
West Brom players to watch out for
We all know Kenneth Zohore and I have zero doubts about the fact he’s probably going to score against us. But West Brom’s side is packed with players to be worried about. Charlie Austin is a striker so many Cardiff fans wanted this summer and though he’s yet to hit a league goal, there’s little doubt he will come good soon. Probably tomorrow.
They’ve also got Matt Phillips, a winger who has never played for Cardiff despite the fact he probably should have. He’s pretty tricky and has scored against us in the past. Oh and they have Hal Robson-Kanu. All praise to HRK.
Worst case result
WBA are good. They have a good manager. They have good players and they have only lost once this season. The system they play lends themselves to being quite attacking and they back that up by having good attacking players. Though we are solid, West Brom’s options should and could stretch us enough. If they take the lead, I’m not sure we’ll claw it back. 2-0 West Brom.
Best case result
WBA are good but they are just a win ahead of us in the league. Wednesday nights win against QPR was a long time coming. We’d drawn a few when we should have won and the reality is, we probably didn’t deserve to win 3-0 on Wednesday. But we did and that should give us confidence going into Saturday. We stay solid and get a goal in the first half, we will win. 2-1 Cardiff.