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The big selection decision McCarthy has to make is whether to bring star striker Kieffer Moore into the starting lineup following his involvement with Wales at Euro 2020.
Moore was late returning to training and was only fit enough for a cameo appearance against Barnsley, though he got 86 minutes under his belt against Sutton in midweek.
Should he be deemed not ready to start, James Collins will get the nod up top as he looks to build on a solid start to life in South Wales in terms of his pre-season form.
Marley Watkins is another in contention to earn a start after netting twice on his competitive debut in the week, while Will Vaulks is back from suspension for this showdown.
As for Blackpool, Lavery made it two goals in two games with the second of his side’s goals against Middlesbrough, surely doing enough to earn a starting spot here.
Critchley made seven changes for that cup tie and is expected to revert back to something similar to the XI fielded against Bristol City last week.
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Lavery’s likely inclusion from the first whistle could mean Tyreece John-Jules making way, while Josh Bowler is another pushing for a recall.
Blackpool possible starting lineup:
Maxwell; Connolly, Keogh, Husband, Garbutt; Hamilton, James, Ward, Anderson; Lavery, Yates
Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Phillips; Morrison, Flint, Nelson; Ng, Vaulks, Pack, Bagan; Watkins, Collins, Giles