After Sunday, we could all have done with a break from football. But alas, we move on to our second game of three in seven days. Huddersfield Town are the visitors this week, a team we played twice last season and shared, precisely, zero goals. So one can only hope that Wednesday is different. Huddersfield have just changed their manager so we can expect a new manager bounce – and he’s a familiar face to all Cardiff fans…
Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield Town
The Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
Tuesday 21st August, 7:45pm
Referee: Jarred Gillett
How Cardiff may lineup…
And three things to watch out for
Let’s put on our classics and have a little dance, shall we? If Peltier is even 80% fit, there’s no way Bacuna can start ahead of him. Likewise Paterson over Vaulks. Warnock needs to go back to the players he can trust. Moz, Ralls, Pats, Pelts, Hoilett. After Sunday, he needs a solid performance from the spine of his team and the players he seems to value above others. Bacuna may get the midfield slot by default as Pack is likely to be out. Sunday was a bad day at the office for every single player – but our most trusted players need to stand up and be counted.
Murphy to deliver. Josh Murphy started last season like a Cristiano Ronaldo; and ended the season like Shanta Ronaldo. And he’s not really at either end of the scale currently. He’s a confidence player and when his tail is up, he can be the best player in the league. After Sunday, the crowd need to see some creativity, some attacking intent, and Murphy should be unleashed on the wing. NML is struggling, Whyte is raw. Murphy should be getting the nod and he should be looking to take his chance.
Give Ralls some freedom. It’s really tough to predict how the team may lineup. We ended Sunday in, basically, a 4-3-3 but that left us so open at the back. So does Warnock rever to his 4-5-1 or keep going with how we finished? It’s difficult to judge. But whatever happens, Ralls need to be allowed more freedom to attack. We’ve highlighted this week that’s fast becoming the man at the centre of the good things we are doing. One can only hope he can be allowed to get forward more – starting against Huddersfield.
Huddersfield players to look out for
Alongside Mark Hudson, Huddersfield are also bringing another old boy back to the CCS. Fraizer Campbell signed for his hometown club toward the end of the summer and everyone knows what danger he brings. He plays on the edge and is deadly inside the box and is at home breaking the defensive line. His speed of thought and feet could cause our defensive two some trouble…
It’s also worth watching out for Jonathan Hogg. Sent off for tussling with Harry Arter last season, he’s also got form at the CCS. He tore Craig Conway’s ankle ligaments when he was playing for Watford. He’s a proper hard lad in the midfield and I’d be watching out for a battle between him and any number of Cardiff players.
Worst Case Result
After Sunday, who knows what might happen. One worries that the crowd could get a little tetchy tomorrow night should things start to go awry early on. If we don’t start well, discontent could spread amongst the crowd and Huddersfield have players to take advantage. It could be another 3-0 loss.
Best Case Result.
As highlighted in another piece (where your author prematurely predicted a brilliant start to the season), we haven’t lost to Huddersfield since 2003. And after Sunday, Warnock will be demanding a reaction. Sometimes, a Warnock side is most dangerous after a defeat. There will have been a rocket. Warnock will have given his team what for over the past few days. And the players will need to stand up and be counted. A hard-fought 2-0.