Sheffield Wednesday on a Friday. You honestly couldn’t write this stuff. The SkyBet just keeps coming. Even though we’ve had a few weeks off for international football, it is beginning to feel like the Championship is reaching a crunch period. With another Friday game off the back of some players coming back from far flung locations, Warnock is probably already really annoyed.  And for Cardiff, a visit of former Jacks manager Garry Monk precedes a run of derby games that we really need to get some results from. Friday Night Lights. Don’t you just love ‘em?

Cardiff City vs. Sheffield Wednesday
SkyBet Championship
Friday 18th October, 7:45pm
Cardiff City Stadium

Potential starting XI

Three things to watch out for…

Return of Etheridge. Smithies really hasn’t done anything wrong in his time as number one. But with Etheridge getting some much needed minutes while playing for the Philippines, and getting man of the match, it could be time for his return. Cardiff have looked shaky at different points during these opening games and with his return, it could go someway to helping restore the spine of the team. Warnock stated in the press conference ahead of this one that he wasn’t back but who knows what surprise he might spring…

Back on the Ward. Danny Ward looked like a man on his way out over the summer. Madine seemed to be ahead of him, we’d just signed Glatzel, and Ward had changed his squad number. But two goals against West Brom, and one previously against Hull, could put him in starting position. Glatzel has been great but with a crunch run of games, it could be a good time to try something different. A two man strike force? Warnock hinted at it…

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Wing and a prayer. Away from home it’s been Hoilett and Whyte. At home, it’s been Murphy and Whyte. Hoilett has been away with Canada and, like Etheridge, hadn’t returned on Thursday. With it being a home game, it’s unlikely he would have started. So will we see Murphy and Whyte? Or could NML make a return? NML started last season like a train and has begun this one like a Transport for Wales one. Slightly broken down and not performing as promised. With a crucial run of games, we could do with his return to form…

Players to watch out for…

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Kadeem Harris is unlucky that he’s still not at Cardiff. He showed last season just what he could do. And, from the outset, it seems like Sheffield Wednesday have got the best out of him already. Hopefully, Pelts and Bennett will know exactly how to deal with them but there’s no doubt he’s a danger man. 

Their team is peppered with players that make me nervous. Adam Reach, Massimo Luongo, Steven Fletcher, even Barry Bannan. If Monk gets them firing, they have enough fire power to cause us some trouble. 

Worst Case Result 

International break, Friday night game, players potentially missing. It’s a perfect storm for Cardiff to lose. If there’s any sort of malaise, any sort of complacency amongst the Cardiff ranks, Sheffield Wednesday will take advantage. With players like Harris, we could easily let this one slip. A 1-0 loss. 

Best case result 

We created chances against West Brom but we just let more in. We got a result against QPR when we weren’t particularly brilliant. We need a result here to kick start a run of games that could be season defining when it comes to the crunch. We are home. It’s a Friday. I think we could get a big win. 2-0.