Cardiff v Coventry preview

Team news for the Championship game between Cardiff and Coventry at the Cardiff City Stadium on Boxing Day.

Last Updated: 24/12/10 at 08:11

Bothroyd: Hoping to return

Bothroyd: Hoping to return

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Cardiff are expected to have Jay Bothroyd available for the Boxing Day clash.

The influential striker was pencilled in to return for last weekend's postponed encounter against Burnley and the extra week will have only boosted his chances of being involved against his former club.

The City camp has had to battle a virus over recent weeks, with the likes of Mark Hudson, Jason Koumas and Gabor Gyepes all feeling under the weather ahead of the Burnley clash. And manager Dave Jones will assess his options this time around.

Defender Chris Riggott could come in for his debut having finally overcome injury and a lengthy battle to regain his fitness, while Michael Chopra may also be recalled in attack.

Cardiff's encounters against Coventry have become somewhat grudge matches over recent seasons, with the recent October encounter proving no exception.

Bothroyd and Craig Bellamy were handed hot receptions upon their returns to the midlands club before the former netted a late winner in a 2-1 triumph. Afterwards, Bothroyd used his Twitter account to say "I hate playing Coventry. They should put up rugby posts" and "Coventry tried to bully us".

Aron Gunnarsson's suspension is countered by the return of captain Lee Carsley as Coventry travel to the Welsh capital.

Gunnarsson was shown a straight red in last Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Norwich for a lunging challenge on Henri Lansbury and will now serve a three-match ban.

Fellow midfielder Carsley missed the encounter having served a one-match suspension of his own for amassing five bookings and will return to fill the void, while also taking the captain's armband back off Michael Doyle.

Carsley's comeback alongside Doyle in the middle of the park provides a like-for-like replacement for Gunnarsson, who only switched to a central position from out wide to cover the former Everton and Birmingham man's omission. David Bell is now likely to continue on the right flank in Gunnarsson's absence.

Sammy Clingan and Carl Baker returned to training last week after their respective knee and hernia problems and, having been deemed not quite ready to face the Canaries, could be included in Boothroyd's matchday 18 in the Welsh capital.

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