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- LV= Cup
- Group B
- 31st Oct 2008
- KO 19:35
- Ground: Cardiff Arms Park
- Att: 10,139
Cardiff v Bath: Teams
At Cardiff Arms Park, Friday 31st October, kick-off 7.35pm
Bath will be looking to cap an unlikely run to the EDF Energy Cup semi-finals by ending Cardiff's unbeaten home record in the competition on Friday.
The Blues cemented their position at the top of Pool B with a comprehensive win over Leicester Tigers at Cardiff Arms Park last weekend.
They stay in their famous old ground this week for the visit of the Guinness Premiership leaders and, having won their last five matches in all competitions, will be favourites to qualify.
Neverthless, having beaten Sale Sharks 24-21 one week ago, Bath will be further buoyed by the return of forwards Andy Beattie and Danny Grewcock from injury.
Shontayne Hape, a try-scorer last weekend, keeps his place alongside Jack Cuthbert who booted nine points for the team last Friday.
With Michael Lipman on England duty, Alex Crockett takes the captaincy reins once again.
However, speaking earlier this week, Bath coach Steve Meehan praised replacement Stuart Hooper for his leadership contribution over recent weeks.
"In the two EDF matches to date, the on-field captain has been replaced and Hooper has taken his place. Although he does not say a lot, what he does say people take very seriously. He thinks very deeply about the game," Meehan said.
Meehan added that the combination with players returning from injury and the team's current good form has led to selection headaches.
"There is the possibility now of progressing in the competition, but an important factor about this game is that obviously we have the guys coming back from injury and have a squad that is performing pretty well," he said.
"Those guys who delivered last Friday night were in good form and that put the pressure on the rest of the squad. But, we have had the opportunity to use quite a number of our squad over the course of these two matches and in light of this competition for places - the one's who have been given the opportunity this Friday, are those who really wanted it."
Bath need to beat the Blues and not hand their opponents two bonus points in order to finish above them in the table.
Cardiff Blues: 15-Ben Blair; 14-Richard Mustoe, 13-Jamie Robinson, 12-Tom Shanklin, 11-Tom James; 10-Nick Robinson, 9-Jason Spice; 1-John Yapp, 2-Gareth Williams, 3-Taufa'ao Filise, 4-Deiniol Jones, 5 Paul Tito (captain), 6-Maama Molitika, 7-Robin Sowden Taylor, 8-Mark Lewis.
Replacements: 16-Gary Powell, 17-T. Rhys Thomas, 18-Scott Morgan, 19-Martyn Williams, 20-Richie Rees, 21-Ceri Sweeney, 22-Gareth Thomas.
Bath: 15-Jack Cuthbert; 14-Joe Maddock, 13-Alex Crockett (captain), 12-Shontayne Hape, 11-Andrew Higgins; 10-Shaun Berne, 9-Scott Bemand; 1-David Flatman, 2-Pieter Dixon, 3-Duncan Bell, 4-Peter Short, 5-Danny Grewcock, 6-Andy Beattie, 7-James Scaysbrook, 8-Daniel Browne.
Replacements: 16-Rob Hawkins, 17-Aaron Jarvis, 18-Nathan Catt, 19-Stuart Hooper, 20-Jonny Faamatuainu, 21-Mike Baxter, 22-Tom Cheeseman.
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|Sunday 8th February|
|Saracens 35 - 18 Exeter|
|Newport Gwent D'gons 17 - 13 London Welsh|
|Saturday 7th February|
|Northampton 29 - 6 Wasps|
|Gloucester 25 - 7 Harlequins|
|Bath 10 - 13 Ospreys|
|London Irish 13 - 31 Newcastle|
|Cardiff Blues 9 - 43 Leicester|
|Sale Sharks 38 - 3 Scarlets|
|Sunday 1st February|
|Newcastle 39 - 19 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 15 - 20 Saracens|
|Newport Gwent D'gons 32 - 37 Exeter|
|Wasps 42 - 45 Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 31st January|
|Scarlets 27 - 18 London Irish|
|Leicester 17 - 8 Northampton|
|Gloucester 32 - 25 Ospreys|
|Harlequins 21 - 23 Bath|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com