Nine games to go: Assessing City's Sky Bet Championship run-in
With just nine matches remaining of their Sky Bet Championship season, Cardiff City could make it eight wins on the spin when they host Burton Albion after the international break...
Winning 23 of their 37 encounters in the league this season, the Bluebirds are second in the Sky Bet Championship table, seven points clear of third place.
Let’s have a look at City’s remaining fixtures, comparing them to either equivalent matches from last season or previous meetings between the Bluebirds and their nine remaining opponents.
Burton Albion (H): 30th March – 3pm K.O.
One player that will certainly remember the Brewer’s last meeting to Cardiff City Stadium is Rhys Healey.
Rhys netted his first senior goal for the club in stoppage time to gift City a 1-0 win in January 2017. That was just the third meeting between ourselves and Nigel Clough’s side, with last season being the first Sky Bet Championship campaign in the club’s history.
A late Kenneth Zohore stunner settled our opening-day clash at the Pirelli Stadium this season.
Sheffield United (A): 2nd April – 7:45pm K.O.
Returning to the second tier of English football this season following a six-year absence, the Blades have been a surprise package for many this term, currently occupying ninth place in the table, just two points off the play-off places.
The Gaffer took on his boyhood side in August of this campaign - securing a 2-0 win at CCS thanks to goals from Sean Morrison and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing - and will no doubt be relishing a return to Bramall Lane.
Wolverhampton Wanderers (H): 6th April – 7:45pm K.O.
Table-topping Wolves are yet to visit the Welsh capital, in one of the most highly-anticipated fixtures of this season. Nuno Espírito Santo has guided his team to a six-point gap at the summit of the division, albeit having played one game more than City.
Wolves’ previous trip to South Wales saw Warnock’s side come from behind to claim the victory, with Matthew Connolly and Anthony Pilkington scoring twice in 20 minutes in December 2016.
Meanwhile, the Bluebirds enjoyed their trip to Molineux this season - an in-form Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Joe Ralls securing a thoroughly deserved victory.
Aston Villa (A): 10th April – 7:45pm K.O.
Another match-up set to be an intriguing and crucial encounter is our trip to Villa Park just four days later.
Villa will be looking to improve on our previous meeting, as the Bluebirds ran out 3-0 winners in our first home game of the '17/18 campaign.
City's last trip to the Midlands came in the form of a 3-1 defeat in November 2016 though, with Rickie Lambert equalising for the Bluebirds before Jonathan Kodjia and ex-City man Rudy Gestede netted for Steve Bruce’s side.
Norwich City (A): 14th April – 3pm K.O.
The Canaries are comfortably mid-table this season, sitting in 13th place on 52 points from a possible 114.
Anthony Pilkington returned to his former stomping ground as our last visit to Carrow Road saw him net a brace in a 3-2 defeat during the 2016/17 season.
City got the better of the Canaries back in December though, with Junior Hoilett, Joe Ralls and Omar Bogle on the score-sheet in a 3-1 win.
Nottingham Forest (H): 21st April – 7:45pm K.O.
City are currently unbeaten in the last eight meetings against Forest, winning seven of those encounters.
Aitor Karanka’s men last visited CCS during April of last season, and were undone by a wonder strike from Aron Gunnarsson to move the Bluebirds into 13th place in the league table.
This season, Junior Hoilett's opener and Danny Ward's 'EFL Goal of the Weekend' - a thunderous strike from distance - settled a 2-0 win at the City Ground.
Derby County (A): 24th April – 7:45pm K.O.
With our original fixture postponed, the Bluebirds will make the trip to Derbyshire looking to somehow provide a more entertaining encounter than the last meeting at Pride Park.
A seven-goal thriller saw Joe Ralls score a last-minute penalty following a Kadeem Harris brace and a Craig Noone stunner to edge the match.
Hull City (A): 28th April – 3pm K.O.
Relegated from the Premier League last season, this term has seen the Tigers slip to 18th in the league; hovering six points above the drop zone.
Our previous visit to the KCOM Stadium came in the 2015/16 season – the campaign in which Hull were promoted – and ended in 2-0 defeat in January of 2016.
However, the Tigers' festive visit to CCS this year saw one of the defining moments of this campaign...
? "Last Christmas, I gave you my heart..."
Reading (H): 6th May – 12:30pm K.O.
Our final game of this season sees the Royals travel to South Wales, and they could be fighting to preserve their Sky Bet Championship status.
Currently three points above the drop zone, Reading’s last visit to the Welsh capital saw them leave with victory thanks to a Yann Kermogant strike.
The City fans that travelled along the M4 for this season's contest witnessed a determined Bluebirds fightback - Lee Tomlin's dramatic last-minute leveller securing a point at the Madejski Stadium.
*Please note, Cardiff City's allocation away to Aston Villa has now SOLD OUT.