Aitor Karanka’s side will be keen to return to winning ways.
The trip to the Welsh capital is Blues' fifth outing of the month and Aitor Karanka’s side will be keen to return to winning ways after Saturday’s narrow defeat to Watford at St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium. That result left Blues in 16th position but only three points outside the top half.
Likewise, Cardiff will be keen to bounce back from their weekend defeat to fierce rivals Swansea City. Ahead of that game, Neil Harris’ team had won four in a row to push them towards the play-off spots, a run that came in response to defeat at St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium to tenants Coventry City.
Travelling to South Wales for the second time this season, having picked up a point and a clean sheet against Swansea City earlier in the campaign, a Blues win would also represent their first success on the road at Cardiff in eight meetings. And this is a distinct possibility with Cardiff, similarly to Blues, holding a better record away from home.
Having been unable to make an immediate return to the Premier League, despite reaching July’s play-offs, Cardiff have begun the 2020/21 campaign as inconsistently as they started the last.
Under the stewardship of Neil Harris, who took over when Neil Warnock departed last November, the Bluebirds are looking to recapture their impressive form of ‘Project Restart’.
The former Millwall boss, Saturday’s defeat aside, will though be delighted with their recent run of results. Back-to-back home wins, in which they scored seven goals to zero in reply, were followed up by successive wins at teams above them in the table – Watford and Stoke City.
Pleasingly, for Harris, this quartet of wins also saw at least one of Kieffer Moore or Robert Glatzel on the scoresheet, with his out-and-out centre-forwards' return of ten goals between them accounting for nearly half of the Bluebirds efforts this season.
According to whoscored.com, Moore has been Cardiff’s best performer this term and the 6 foot 5 Wales international has been thriving in a side that clearly works on set-pieces, with the team having found the net from no fewer than 11 of them. At the other end, they have only been breached four times when defending dead-ball situations, with skipper Sean Morrison averaging close to one key block per match.
LAST TIME OUT:
Blues were unfortunate to leave empty-handed after a resilient display against Watford. Despite coming closest to scoring, when Mikel San Jose hit the post, it was Birmingham-born striker Troy Deeney who took the headlines. Making his 500th league appearance, the frontman was on hand to convert a controversially awarded penalty after Kristian Pedersen was adjudged to have felled Stipe Perica. The incident also saw the Dane dismissed for a second bookable offence
This came hours after Cardiff had also tasted defeat on home soil in the first-ever South Wales derby played without fans. Goals either side of the break from Jamal Lowe did the damage on an afternoon where they rarely threatened the Swans and had Joe Ralls sent off in the second half.
WE MEET AGAIN:
Cardiff 4 Blues 2, 02 November 2019
Blues will be relieved to know Ralls is suspended after he hit a hat-trick when the sides last met at the Cardiff City Stadium.
On an eventful afternoon that produced six goals and two red cards, Blues had taken the lead in the third minute when Pedersen was first to the rebound of Lukas Jutkiewicz’s header.
And the scoreline stayed that way until the half-hour mark when Ralls scored a controversially awarded penalty, before Curtis Nelson’s bundled effort completed the hosts’ turnaround.
After the break, the game appeared to be swinging in Blues favour when Danny Ward was shown a straight red card after a lunge on Kerim Mrabti, only for man-of-the-match Ralls to hit on the break and make it 3-1.
Ivan Sunjic scored the game’s fifth and doing so gave Blues a lifeline in the 89th minute. However, any hope of a point for their efforts soon evaporated when Ralls completed his treble with another penalty just minutes after Harlee Dean had been dismissed.
BLUES TEAM NEWS:
Zach Jeacock (ankle), Kristian Pedersen (suspended) George Friend (knee), Caolan Boyd-Munce (thigh) and Jeremie Bela (thigh) are unavailable.
Blues wins: 29
Cardiff wins: 27
LAST FIVE MEETINGS:
Championship 18 Jan 2020 – Blues 1 Cardiff 1
Championship 02 Nov 2019 – Cardiff 4 Blues 2
Championship 10 Mar 2018 – Cardiff 3 Blues 2
Championship 13 Oct 2017 – Blues 1 Watford 0
Championship 11 Mar 2017 – Cardiff 1 Blues 1
Supporters can watch this game live on BluesTV for only £10.
Referee - Michael Salisbury
Assistant referees - Mark Jones and Richard Wild
Fourth Official - Daniel Lamport