Cardiff City travel to Huddersfield in what some people are already billing as a relegation six-pointer. The Terriers will be wounded after a sobering 6-1 defeat at Manchester City last weekend. David Wagner has already said that their season starts here – so could we bet set for a real ding-dong battle at the Kirklees?
Huddersfield Town vs Cardiff City
The Kirklees Stadium, Huddersfield
25th August 2018, 3pm (BST)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Cardiff City’s Expected Starting XI…
And three things to look out for…
An unchanged line-up? With four changes being made last week, and the team playing well as a unit, Warnock should keep the same XI that started against Newcastle. Manga did a fine job at right back and that midfield trio of Ralls, Camarasa, and Arter is only going to improve as they get more playing time together. The only question mark might be over Hoilett – who left the game injured last week – but if he’s fit, he should start. Murphy and Junior frightened Newcastle’s full backs last week and let’s hope they pick up where they left off.
Can Ken kut it? Maybe it’s a bit harsh after his first Premier League appearance but Zohore was a bit enigmatic last week. He showed flashes of great play but then let himself down in other areas. Sure, he was up against one of the better young defenders in this division but one would hope that he really throws his weight around against Huddersfield. He’s vital to the way we play and if he can hold the ball up, we’ve got the players around him who can really take advantage of that. Perhaps the service into him needs to be better too – heaven knows for all of Etheridge’s good parts, his kicking is a little weak at times – and that’s something that needs to be acknowledged too. But Ken needs a big game this week – and a goal would be nice as well.
Is there more to come from the bench? Reid looked bright when he came on last week, as did NML. Should Warnock trust them to make an impact earlier? Murphy clearly tired last week and I fully understand why Warnock brought him off – but I’d like to see us try Reid and Zohore up top at some point. Can we be a bit more flexible with our tactics? I hope so. Like for like changes seem to be going out of fashion now and subs need to have a bit more nous about them – let’s hope Warnock has something up his sleeve for tomorrow.
Huddersfield players to watch out for
Aaron Mooy seems integral to the way Huddersfield play and perhaps it’s no surprise that they fell apart last week without him. A good ball playing midfielder, he makes and scores a few, and if he does return this week (congratulations on the new kid, Aaron!), Arter and Camarasa will have their work cut out marshaling him in the middle.
It feels like our defenders might have their work cut out with Stephen Mounie. Whenever I saw him last season, he seemed to score a booming header – and it seems he’s equally adept with his feet too. Hopefully, we can cut the supply lines to him but once those crosses get into the box, we’ll need to be on our toes to deal with him.
Best Case Result?
A wins a win, in this case. After two games without a goal, we need to score. If we keep the same settled XI, and defend like we did last week, I don’t see us conceding a goal. But we need to start converting some of those half chances into full ones. There were times last weekend where Zohore headed instead of volleyed or Bamba’s head didn’t make a decent connection with a cross. It’ll come – and let’s hope tomorrow is the start. 2-0 Cardiff.
Worst case result?
Huddersfield will be looking to get a convincing result in front of their home crowd. Wagner will have his side roaring after a dismal defeat at the Etihad last weekend. With their pressing style, we could be hemmed back from the get-go and we’ll probably need to ride out the storm. If we don’t? I can see them winning 2-0.
Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @VFTNinian.