Clark has selection crisis

Team news for the New Year's Day npower Championship clash between Birmingham and Cardiff.

Last Updated: 30/12/12 at 16:45

Nikola Zigic: Sent off against Bolton

Nikola Zigic: Sent off against Bolton

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Birmingham manager Lee Clark has a selection crisis ahead of his side's first game of 2013 against Cardiff.

Nikola Zigic picked up two late bookings in the 3-1 defeat at Bolton, his second red card of the season, meaning the Serbia international will miss the next two games.

With Marlon King (knee), Peter Lovenkrands (calf), and Akwasi Asante (hamstring) all sidelined, Clark has only Jake Jervis at his disposal.

The 21-year-old striker has never made a senior start for the Blues but could be thrown in at the deep end against the league leaders.

Midfielders Papa Bouba Diop (hamstring) and Darren Ambrose (knee) are also absent, meaning Clark's options are further limited.

Defender Will Packwood missed the defeat at the Reebok Stadium with illness, but the American should be back available to face the Bluebirds.

Cardiff striker Rudy Gestede will hope to retain his place in the starting line-up having been the matchwinner against Millwall.

The 24-year-old Frenchman struck the only goal on only his seventh npower Championship start for the Bluebirds after replacing Heidar Helguson.

With games coming thick and fast for the table-toppers manager Malky Mackay may decide to freshen things up with Don Cowie, Jordon Mutch, Joe Mason and Kim Bo-Kyung all waiting in the wings having been in and out of the side in recent weeks.

Stephen McPhail and Tommy Smith, meanwhile, are targeting the FA Cup third-round clash at Macclesfield for a return to action after spells on the sidelines.

Although Cardiff are five points clear at the top of the table they have won just five games on the road this season.


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