Bluebirds boss Bulut set to make changes after another toothless home defeat

The 2-0 loss to Preston saw Cardiff City slump to their fourth defeat in their last five games in a season which is slowly slipping away from them despite such a promising start.

EROL Bulut could field refreshed side at West Bromwich Albion tonight after Saturday’s deflating home defeat by Preston North End.

Bluebirds went into the weekend hopeful they would see their side record back-to-back victories for the first time since October, but after Ben Whiteman tucked away the visitors’ second just before half-time, Cardiff never looked like getting back in it.

Tonight at The Hawthorns against a Baggies side currently occupying a play-off spot, Bulut is under pressure to make changes following such a toothless home performance.


Rubin Colwill has been impressive this season but Bulut has questioned his defensive abilities

Against Preston, Bulut chose to change a winning-team when he dropped Rubin Colwill to hand new signing David Turnbull his full-debut alongside Manolis Siopis and Ryan Wintle in midfield. However, the half-time substitution to bring on the returning Aaron Ramsey showed how ineffective the Bluebirds’ midfield had been in the first 45.

Cardiff failed to make a comeback but a midfield including the Welsh skipper always looks more dangerous. Ramsey has registered three goals in his seven appearances so far this term and with the Bluebirds in desperate need of an attacking playmaker, tonight may well be the game Bulut gives the Welshman his first start since injury – if he is fit enough.

The half-time substitution of Ryan Wintle suggests he will not regain his place at The Hawthorns, so Bluebirds fans will be expecting to see Manolis Siopis occupy one of the two midfield roles in Cardiff’s 4-3-3 formation. The other spot gives Bulut a dilemma.

Turnbull failed to have a significant impact on the game in the number 10 position at the weekend but is capable of playing the box-to-box role too. Rubin Colwill came off the bench at the weekend and looked lively.

However, against a strong West Brom side who were seconds away from clinching a win at Ipswich Town at the weekend, Bulut is perhaps more likely to choose the experience of the Scottish international over Colwill, who has had his defensive abilities regularly questioned by the Bluebirds manager this season.


Kion Etete could lose his place at the Hawthorns

Bulut has opted to start Kion Etete in six of Cardiff’s last seven games but the former Tottenham Hotspur striker is without a goal in any of those appearances and with Karlan Grant unavailable against his parent club, the Bluebirds manager could field a new-look front three.

New recruit Josh Wilson-Esbrand made an impact off the bench at the weekend and could be in-line for a start against the Baggies in place of Grant on the wing. Famara Diedhou has replaced Etete in Cardiff’s last two fixtures and after a quiet performance from Etete at the weekend, the former Bristol City man could be in line for his full debut.

Josh Bowler is likely to keep his place on the right-wing having featured in every fixture he has been available for so far this season.


The announcement that centre-back Mark McGuinness could be out for up to two months will likely mean that the Bluebirds will field an unchanged defence at the Hawthorns.

Nat Phillips made his full debut at the weekend alongside Dimitrious Goutas and that pair now look set for a run of games together.

Grant being unavailable could mean left-back Jamillu Collins will keep his place despite a poor performance against Preston, with Wilson-Esbrand replacing Grant on the wing.

Predicted lineup: Jak Alnwick, Perry Ng, Nat Phillips, Dimitrious Goutas, Jamilu Collins, Manolis Siopis, David Turnbull, Aaron Ramsey, Josh Wilson-Esbrand, Famara Diedhou, Josh Bowler.