Cardiff City will look to take advantage of Everton’s FA Cup drubbing at the hands of Arsenal last weekend.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team are fresh from just their second win under his tutelage against a Fulham side seemingly determined to get relegated into English football’s own No Man’s Land.
Everton away may not seem like the most promising of ties for a team with just two wins since Christmas, but Cardiff must look to nick points from wherever they can in the business end of the season.
Being in the relegation places on just goal difference will no doubt provide a huge incentive for the Bluebirds to get something out of this game; they’ll need to stop the brutish power of Romelu Lukaku to take anything, though.
Despite the farcical happenings off the pitch, Cardiff’s travelling fans will be in higher spirits knowing a favourable result would lift them out of the bottom three into less pressured climes; a desirable position for Liverpool’s visit the following week.
Cardiff’s season is far from over. The run of games leading up to the penultimate trip to Newcastle could realistically garner four wins against teams around them; games with six points to play for and £90 billion in revenue for survivors.
Everton have enjoyed a sustained effort in the upper echelons of this season’s table, new manager Roberto Martinez far exceeding the success of his beleaguered predecessor David Moyes, whose struggles at Manchester United show little sign of abating.
However, the blue side of Liverpool have began to unsettle in what was a static run of picking up points. Everton will seek to correct the 4-1 score line that flattered Arsenal last weekend.
Cardiff’s closest rivals West Brom and Crystal Palace could do them a big favour this weekend; with both teams playing Swansea and Sunderland respectively, a draw in either game could work in Cardiff’s sparse fortunes at the bottom.
No fresh injury worries for the Bluebird side that thumped Fulham, but Everton will still be without the services of lynchpin Phil Jagielka who sits out with a hamstring problem.
Never one to shy away from a scrap, Craig Bellamy is said to be vying for a recall along with on-loan Wilfried Zaha in what will prove to be a crucial clash in deciding where Cardiff will ply their trade next season.