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Cardiff City set to take on battle-weary Tottenham

Cardiff City are going through some dark times Photo: Jon Candy

Cardiff City are going through some dark times Photo: Jon Candy

CARDIFF City head to White Hart Lane this Sunday hoping to capitalise on Tottenham’s fierce run of games.

With Tottenham’s foray in the Europa League this week, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping the extra rest will allow his team to dictate the pace to a tired Spurs side playing their second game in less than 72 hours.

Spurs beat Ukrainian side FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 3-1 in an emotional farewell for Jermaine Defoe at White Hart Lane yesterday.

The North London team came from behind to progress to the next round of the European competition. Solskjaer is hoping this tough schedule will take its toll on Tim Sherwood’s men.

He said: “I was at the game last night, high energy, they impressed me. They started really well with high energy, pressing, enthusiasm.

“It might be that they won’t have that same energy again on Sunday. We are one of the fittest teams, all the stats show that we are one of the fittest teams in the Premier League.”

But Cardiff should expect no favours from Tottenham. They have been impressively consistent this season and it is only the dogged brilliance of the top four that has kept them from breaking into the Champions League places.

Solskjaer is still to get his reign at the Cardiff helm on a sound footing. Just four points since the Christmas period leaves Cardiff second-bottom.

With the lower half of the table separated by just nine points, the Bluebirds’ exit through the cellar door is far from determined. But the fight back must begin at Spurs or the doomsday predictions will be tough to ignore.

Solskjaer understands the need for his men to raise their form. “You have got to work at it and get a response from them (the players), and I’ve got to say I have got a few answers this week,” he said.

The four-nil mauling at the hands of Hull City wasn’t a fair reflection of a game in which Cardiff showed elements of fight and a desire to get the ball down and create chances.

But as any relegation strugglers will know, the rub of the green goes missing during the season’s most desperate moments.

Without key man Gary Medel in midfield, the Bluebirds will need to look to the bench for inspiration on Sunday. Solskjaer confirmed he will mix things up. “There will be changes because we have had a couple back from injury and suspension that we have been without for a while.

“For instance Craig Bellamy, of course he’s important at times like this so he will be involved,” he said.

Bellamy will return against Tottenham following a three-match-ban for striking Jonathan de Guzman in the game against local rivals Swansea. The Welsh striker sympathised with what City fans have had to endure.

“It has been a difficult period for us as a club over the last couple of years, there’s no doubt about that. The fans have had to go through a lot,” he said.

Solskjaer has little choice but to go for it against Spurs on Sunday. If Cardiff slump to a third straight defeat the storm clouds will begin to gather.

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