This Friday (21st July), in a 7PM kick off, City face Plymouth Argyle in their third, and final, fixture of their tour of Devon/Cornwall. The hosts now playing their trade in League 1, after clinching promotion in the last campaign, finishing second in League 2 behind City’s 2008 FA Cup final opponents, Portsmouth. It goes without saying, but this tie should be a greater challenge on paper, when compared to non-league side’s Tavistock, and Bodmin Town. City are expected to be bringing a good following from South Wales, with a lot of fans already in Plymouth and surrounding areas, while others will be travelling up on the day. The fixture will take place in Plymouth’s ‘Home Park’, which boasts a capacity of 17,800.
Let’s not forget, Ciy’s Scottish winger, Matt Kennedy, was on loan at ‘the pilgrims’ during the second half of last season. The loan spell proving to be very much worthwhile for other Kennedy himself, and City manager, Neil Warnock. He became very popular very quickly down at Plymouth, netting 5 times in 17 outings, as Plymouth soared to automatic promotion. This loan spell has encouraged Warnock to give Kennedy a chance to impress in pre-season. Kennedy has featured in all 3 of City’s pre-season outings to date.
Warnock has used a number of different systems so far in pre-season, including 5 at the back with wing backs, a 4-3-3, and a 4-4-1-1, amongst others. City’s squad is full of depth, something which has been lacking in recent years. This is all down to Warnock, who has brought in a total of 7 players (including 2 goalkeepers) at such an early stage of the window. This gives the squad more time to ge, and for the new signings to settle. Warnock has already stated that he des not expect to make any more signings this window. With the likes of Junior Hoillett still to come back into the fold (currently on international duty with Canada in the ‘Gold Cup), and the possible inclusion of Idriss Saadi (who scored 2 against Tavistock on Monday) in Warnock’s final squad for the upcoming Championship campaign, there’s a real feel-good factor back amongst supporters. Lots of different team selections, in lots of different formations, have been circulating around social media by fans who are picking their starting City XI. Some fans have gone for the wing back formation, with the likes of Joe Bennett, and Richards/Paterson, while others have gone for the conventional 4-4-2, which includes a central midfield duo of new boy, Tomlin and, Aaron Gunnarsson, with Danny Ward partnering fan favourite, Kenneth Zohore, up top.
The hosts’ last run out was against a Devon FA Selected XI, in which ‘the pilgrims’ were comfortable 7-0 victors. The Devon XI were put together just for this pre-season friendly, and it showed, with Lionel Ainsworth, Alex Fletcher, and Sam Ryan all with braces, with Alex Battle with the other. This will be a good test for Neil Warnock’s men, coming up against professional opposition for the first time this pre-season, in a club from only the league below. It should hopefully give fans more of an idea on how Warnock will set-out his team in the opening day of the Championship season, away to Burton Albion. The club have recently announced that Bluebirds fans have sold out their away allocation for this one. We can’t wait! If you’re heading down to Plymouth on Friday, please send us in any photos from the day, via our Facebook or Twitter page, and we may feature them in our match day vlog. Thank you for reading. Here’s to a positive display against Derek Adams’ Plymouth Argyle.
Image Credit: (Sky Sports & Plymouth Herald)