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SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP 2014-15: THE FIRST FIVE

29 June 2014

A look at Cardiff City's first five league fixtures in the 2014-15 Sky Bet Championship season

Blackburn Rovers (A) - Friday, 9th August - Kick-off 7.45pm

2013-14 Sky Bet Championship: 8th
Top scorer: Jordan Rhodes (25) 
Manager: Gary Bowyer
Stadium: Ewood Park (Capacity: 31,647)

Cardiff City visit Ewood Park and Blackburn Rovers in their opening day Sky Bet Championship fixture as they take on a side who narrowly missed out on last seasons play-offs after an 11-match unbeaten run. 

With former Bluebirds Craig Conway and Rudy Gestede in their ranks, Gary Bowyer will hope to push his side one step closer to a return to the Barclays Premier League this campaign after two years away. 

Last meeting: Blackburn Rovers 1-4 Cardiff City (Championship - December 7th 2012)

City’s last visit to Ewood Park proved to be a memorable one as they ran out 4-1 winners with goals from Mark Hudson, Craig Bellamy, Joe Mason and a first Cardiff City goal for Kim Bo Kyung secured three precious points. 

Huddersfield Town (H) - Saturday, 16th August - Kick-off 3pm

2013-14 Sky Bet Championship: 17th
Top scorer: Danny Ward (10) 
Manager: Mark Robins
Stadium: John Smith’s Stadium (Capacity: 24,500)

The Bluebirds welcome Huddersfield Town to Cardiff City Stadium for the first home game of the 2014-15 Sky Bet Championship season, a side who will be looking to improve on a 17th placed finish last time out.

Two wins in their last 12 fixtures ended the Terriers’ 2013-14 campaign, but Mark Robins' side still finished nine points clear of the bottom three in the end. A hat-trick for Danny Ward in a final day victory against Watford saw the 22-year-old top their scoring charts alongside former Everton and Norwich City forward James Vaughan. 

Last meeting: Huddersfield Town 0-0 Cardiff City (Championship - February 9th 2013)

City claimed a hard fought point at the John Smith’s Stadium as the Bluebirds closed in on promotion to the Barclays Premier League in their 2012-13 Championship winning campaign.

Wigan Athletic (H) - Tuesday, 19th August - Kick-off 7.45pm

2013-14 Sky Bet Championship: 5th
Top scorer: Nick Powell (12) 
Manager: Uwe Rosler
Stadium: The DW Stadium (Capacity: 25,138)

The return of regular midweek football under the lights returns to Cardiff City Stadium in their second home game in quick succession as they welcome last seasons defeated Championship play-off finalists in Uwe Rosler’s Wigan Athletic. 

Without the added pressures of Europa League football this campaign, the Latics start the season as one of the favourites for promotion from the Sky Bet Championship with an immensely talented squad continuing to flourish under their talented manager German manager.

Last meeting: Cardiff City 1-2 Wigan Athletic (FA Cup with Budweiser fifth round - February 15th 2014)

Eventual FA Cup with Budweiser semi-finalists Wigan Athletic continued their defence of the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory over the Bluebirds in the fifth round of the competition as goals from Chris McCann and Ben Watson either side of a Fraizer Campbell equaliser helped secure the Latics’ progress in the competition. 

Wolverhampton Wanderers (A) - Saturday, 23rd August - Kick-off 3pm

2013-14 Sky Bet League One: 1st 
Top scorer: Nouha Dicko (18) 
Manager: Kenny Jackett
Stadium: Molineux (Capacity: 30,852)

Momentum can often prove to be a driving force in the Sky Bet Championship and pundits are already tipping last seasons League One winners Wolverhampton Wanderers as possible dark horses for the 2014-15 Sky Bet Championship campaign. 

Kenny Jackett’s side romped to the League One title in the end last season - driven by the 18 goals of talented forward Nouha Dicko, Wolves secured an immediate return to England’s second tier. Wolves in front of a passionate Molineux crowd will always prove to be difficult opponents to face. 

Last meeting: Wolves 1-2 Cardiff City (Championship - February 24th 2013)

A Fraizer Campbell double proved to be enough to claim three vital away points for City as they continued on their push to claim the 2012-13 Championship title. Bakary Sako’s 70th minute strike proved to be mere consolation in the end. 

Fulham (A) - Saturday, 30th August - Kick-off 3pm

2013-14 Barclays Premier League: 19th
Top scorer: Steve Sidwell (10) 
Manager: Felix Magath
Stadium: Craven Cottage (Capacity: 25,700)

The Cottagers are preparing for their first season out of the top flight in thirteen years following their relegation from the Barclays Premier League alongside the Bluebirds last season. 

Felix Magath’s side will be hopeful of an immediate return to the Barclays Premier League with a side now backed by a talented set of youngsters who narrowly missed out on FA Youth Cup glory to Chelsea last season.

Last meeting: Cardiff City 3-1 Fulham (Barclays Premier League - March 8th 2014)

A double strike from defender Steven Caulker and Sascha Riether own goal helped the Bluebirds to three precious Barclays Premier League points at Cardiff City Stadium. The win saw City complete a league double over the Cottagers, following up a 2-1 away victory at Craven Cottage in September. 

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