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Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Mark Gower south Wales fitness boost for Swansea City

NPOWER CHAMPIONSHIP - CARDIFF CITY v SWANSEA CITY
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Sunday 7 November Kick-off: 1310 GMT
Coverage: Exclusively live on BBC ONE & online, full commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales & BBC Radio Cymru, live text commentary online and score updates on BBC Sport website


Mark Gower
Mark Gower signed for Swansea from Southend in June 2008

Mark Gower is set to hand Swansea City a south Wales derby boost as the midfielder could return for Sunday's Championship clash at Cardiff City.

The 32-year-old has missed Swansea's last four games since suffering a hamstring tear during their 1-0 win at Reading on 16 October.

But Gower is back in full training and may replace suspended midfielder Darren Pratley for Swans boss Brendan Rodgers.

Gower had been a league ever-present for Swansea before his injury blow.

Gower's return to fitness is good news for Rodgers who is looking to fill the void left by key player Pratley.

The Swans midfielder picked up a fifth booking of the season in their 3-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday to trigger an automatic one-match ban.

But rivals Cardiff have also been dealt a blow as Championship top-scorer Jay Bothroyd is also suspended.

The 12-goal striker also picked up his fifth booking of the season in the Bluebirds' 3-1 win over Norwich City on Saturday.

So both Championship leaders Cardiff and third-placed Swansea will be without key men in Sunday's showpiece - screened live on BBC ONE and online.

"[Bothroyd's booking] was going to happen sooner or later so we can't worry about it," said Cardiff manager Dave Jones.

"I've never been worried about losing players, that's why you have a squad. I could have lost him to an injury.

"I know it's a derby and everything else, but Pratley has also got one so I'm sure Brendan will be as angry as me.

"I've been angry with a lot of [Bothroyd's] bookings this season, some of them have been silly... If you're booked for dissent it's crazy, I'd say four of his five booking this season were meaningless."

And Swans boss Brendan Rodgers says he was disappointed for Pratley.

"I thought it was a very, very harsh booking," said Rodgers. "At that point of the game when the game is dead, the referee could very, very easily award the free kick and no-one would say anything.

"We're very disappointed for Darren because he's been outstanding this season."

Meanwhile, Swansea's home match with Millwall has been brought forward to Friday, 10 December on police advice.



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see also
Sinclair relishes his first derby
02 Nov 10 |  Swansea
Swansea face losing loanee Emnes
01 Nov 10 |  Swansea
Bothroyd 'gutted' to miss derby
01 Nov 10 |  Cardiff
Cardiff 3-1 Norwich
30 Oct 10 |  Championship
Crystal Palace 0-3 Swansea
30 Oct 10 |  Championship
Gower hamstring blow for Swansea
22 Oct 10 |  Swansea
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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