Cardiff City return to Championship action this Saturday with a tough looking trip north to Leeds United.
The Yorkshire side come into this fixture off the back of their F.A Cup giant killing of Tottenham Hotspur and will be looking to maintain this good form. Leeds currently lie in eleventh position in the Championship table, just six points away from the play-off places. They are a formidable force at Elland Road too, losing on only three occasions in fourteen matches this term.
United top the home form tables, with Neil Warnock’s side having won each of their last five league fixtures on home soil. Cardiff however, are unbeaten in their last six away outings on the road, winning five and drawing one. Something has got to give come Saturday evening.
Key Players:Luciano Becchio has left Leeds to join Premier League Norwich after his nineteen goals this season. This will leave a huge gulf that could be filled by ex-City Favourite Ross McCormack, El Hadji Diouf and new arrival and Welsh international Steve Morison.
Goals can also come from the Leeds midfield as Rodolph Austin showed in our last encounter with Warnock’s side. His midfield partner Michael Tonge is the third top scorer at Leeds and the services of the influential Michael Brown may be called upon in the centre of the field.
If Cardiff are to keep their winning run away from home going they will have to get passed the experienced Paddy Kenny. The Republic of Ireland international will have Captain and Vice Captain Lee Peltier and Jason Pierce aiding him. Strong performances from the pair will be essential in an attempt to keep the Championship leaders from scoring.
Previous Meetings: There is no doubt that Cardiff have been something of a bogey side for Leeds in recent years. The Welsh side have not lost to their English counterparts in the last fourteen meetings between the teams. You would have to look at seventeen games ago to see the last time Leeds scored more than one goal against Cardiff City. A Cardiff double was completed in the 2010/11 season and could be on the cards again this weekend.
There have been fifty-nine encounters in total and it is Cardiff City who have the best overall record. They have notched up twenty-two wins compared to Leeds United’s fourteen wins. Thirteen games have ended with nothing between the sides.
Last Meeting: Cardiff City 2 – 1 Leeds United (15/09/2012)
Malky Mackay’s side recorded their third win of the season in defeating Warnock’s Whites back in September.
Craig Bellamy opened the scoring with a stunning free kick after sixty-seven minutes and Peter Whittingham doubled the lead for the home side only five minutes later from the penalty spot after Tom Lees clumsily bundled over Nicky Maynard in the area. Rodolph Austin got a goal back soon after, but Cardiff were to hold on for their third successive home win.
Cardiff City Line-up: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Connolly, Whittingham, Noone (Bellamy), Mutch (Gunnarsson), Smith, Maynard, Helguson (Cowie) Subs not used: Lewis, Nugent, Kim, Mason.
Leeds United Line-up: Kenny, Peltier, Leeds, Drury (Diouf), Pierce, Austin, White, Tonge , Byrum, Becchio, McCormack (Varney) (Poleon) Subs not used: Ashdown, Kisnorbo, Brown, Gray.