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Club News

Early Wembley team news

21 February 2013

The hours are counting by as City's truly historic appearance in the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley Stadium against Swansea City draws ever nearer.

The final obviously isn't until this Sunday but with the weekend almost upon us, can bring you up to date with some early teams from both camps ahead of the big day.

The Bantams

There is some encouraging news regarding City's main injury concern going into this weekend's showpiece event - Rory McArdle.

The 25 year-old defender, who damaged his ankle at Fleetwood Town nearly three weeks ago, returned to training this Tuesday as he continues to try and push himself back into contention for Sunday's final.

Although still classed as a doubt, McArdle's chances of being fit for the final have improved over recent days. 

Even if the Northern Irish defender is deemed fit enough to put his hat in the ring for a starting place though, he will face competition from the fit-again Andrew Davies, plus fellow centre halves Michael Nelson and Carl McHugh.

Further up the field, Parkinson's should also have options at his disposal in midfield and attack. 

Kyel Reid has thrust himself forward recently in the queue for a starting berth after showing glimpses of getting back to his best during back-to-back starts in City's previous two league games - Wycombe Wanderers and AFC Wimbledon.

On the opposite flank, despite missing out on those recent games at Wycombe and Wimbledon, Zavon Hines can't be ruled out for a place in Parkinson's line up either after the Bantams boss choose to select the winger for both legs of City's semi-final against Aston Villa.

Parkinson could just as easily go with the height and strength of Garry Thompson on the right wing, however, although the former Scunthorpe United man did impress in attack against Wycombe and Wimbledon.

Whether Thompson starts in attack or not, there will definitely be a starting berth free in up front for City with Andy Gray ineligible to play in the Capital One Cup having featured in the competition already earlier this season with previous club Leeds United.

Swansea City

After resting a number of his first team regulars for their visit to Liverpool in the Premier League last weekend, Swansea boss Michael Laudrup is expected to revert back largely to the eleven that beat QPR in their previous home game nearly two weeks ago.

Swans top scorer Michu was one of the players to sit out the match at Anfield last Sunday after coming off early against QPR with a minor ankle injury. Despite this recent slight injury concern, the Spaniard is likely to be fit to play at Wembley.

Swansea favourite Leon Britton, who has played in over 380 games for the Welsh club over two spells, made his return from a knee injury in the Liverpool match. 

Having come through the game unscathed, Britton, who played in the Swans' last match with City back in 2007, will now be looking for a starting berth at Wembley, although Laudrup did play the attacking trio of Nathan Dyerl, Wayne Routledge and Pablo Hernandez behind Michu to great affect against QPR.

Routledge has been suffering with a bout of illness recently but he should be fit enough for the Wembley trip.

Defender Chico Flores will miss out on Sunday's final, however, after picking up ankle ligament damage during the Swans' recent QPR fixture. 

With the Spaniard unavailable, Garry Monk or Kyle Bartley will most likely partner skipper Ashley Williams in central defence.

Whoever is selected to play alongside Williams at the heart of Swansea's defence, they will be playing in front of Gerhard Tremmel after Laudrup confirmed that the 'keeper will start ahead of fellow shot-stopper Michel Vorm.

Kemy Agustien was back in the starting eleven at Anfield for Swansea after recently spending a spell on the sidelines with an ankle problem. Neil Taylor (broken leg) is still sidelined though, meaning Welsh youngster Ben Davies should continue at left back.

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