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Cardiff make the long trip north to try and end Newcastle’s unbeaten home record this season and with the Geordies not in the best of form at the minute, the free-scoring Welshmen could have a very realistic chance of taking something from their travels come Friday evening. Despite a mistake by Sky Sports, the Friday night fixture will NOT be televised. The game was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday but was moved to Friday due to police concerns over the mackems clash with Wigan the following day.

Good news for Chris Hughton is that Jonas Gutierrez, Danny Simpson and Shola Ameobi are all available after injury and new signing Leon Best could make his debut. Jose Enrique, Steven Taylor and Joey Barton will miss the game through injury but Barton is back in training after his broken foot.

Dave Jones is without Joe Ledley, Gavin Rae and Stephen McPhail, so top scorer Peter Whittingham is expected to play in central midfield to cover. Mark Hudson and Miguel Comminges are also out, weakening the Bluebirds’ defence and to top things off, strikers Kelvin Etuhu and John Magennis are also missing.

Jones can call upon former Toon misfit Michael Chopra to try and end his personal SJP goal-drought tonight, it currently spans a whopping 19 games for the man who was once labelled “the next Alan Shearer” (try not to laugh too much).

Cardiff are hardly having a dry spell in front of goal away from home this season, scoring at a ratio of better than 2 goals in every away game. Their last trip away from Wales seen them batter a woeful Bristol City side 6-0. I’m sure they won’t have it so easy when they make the trip to Tyneside.

The Bluebirds are currently unbeaten in eight games and have won their last four. This is in stark contrast to the leaders, who have won only once in their last five games and are in poor form. Having said that though, Newcastle are still unbeaten in 14 league matches and remain top of the league thanks to Nottingham Forest and West Brom both unexpectedly dropping points in recent weeks.

Chris Hughton’s side are going to have to improve on recent weeks performances against West Brom and Leicester if they are to stay at the top of the league and keep their hope of an instant return to the top flight.