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Along with Blues, Cardiff City will be determined to banish the memory of a weekend defeat as the pair meet in the Welsh capital on Wednesday night. Facing off at the Cardiff City Stadium, the Bluebirds will be desperate to get Saturday’s defeat to rivals Swansea City out of their system. Similarly, Blues will be looking for a response after being edged out by Watford at St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium.
Despite a deflating weekend performance, Neil Harris’ men will know a win could propel them back into the top ten and closer towards the play-off picture. Until defeat to the Swans, Cardiff had recorded four consecutive victories and been the division's in-form team.
Much of this can be put down to their prowess from set-pieces. The Bluebirds have found the net 11 times from these opportunities, with no other side in the Sky Bet Championship even reaching double figures on such a metric.
IN THE DUGOUT
Having resigned as manager of Millwall in November 2019, Harris had spent only 13 days away from the game when he took over from Neil Warnock as First Team Manager. And in his first season in charge, he led them to the play-offs, with the Bluebirds winning seven of their final ten matches to finish fifth.
Keen to move the style of play away from a solely direct approach, Harris’ win record with Cardiff is almost identical to that of his tenure in the capital – sitting marginally under 42 per cent.
The gig in South Wales is the 43-year-old’s second role as a number one. His four years in charge at Millwall followed a playing career that included two spells with the Lions, as well as a loan stint with Cardiff. The striker had started at Cambridge United and also represented Nottingham Forest, before finishing his 17 years as a pro with Southend United.
ONE TO WATCH
Kieffer Moore joined Cardiff for an undisclosed fee from Wigan Athletic in the close season. A shining light in the relegated Latics team, the Welshman scored two of his ten goals in their 8-0 demolition job of Hull City towards the end of last term. The tricky customer, renowned for his aerial ability, also provided five assists for Paul Cook’s men, with such form sealing him a move to Harris’ team against whom he scored twice last season.
In a career that started out with Cornish outfit Truro City, Moore has also featured for teams including Ipswich Town, Rotherham United and Barnsley. It was when playing for the Tykes that he was handed his first international call up. Since then he has scored a goal every three matches for Wales, including the Dragon’s winner away to Finland in the Nations League.
Cardiff has not proven fertile ground for Blues in recent years. In fact, you have to go back to 2008 for the last time that it was a happy trip back to the West Midlands. On that occasion, it was goals from James McFadden and Quincy Owusu-Abeyie that secured the three points. Despite this, Blues have certainly looked to give it a go in recent seasons, scoring twice on their last two trips.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Bluebirds are the only non-English side to win the FA Cup. Having been losing finalists to Sheffield United in 1925, Cardiff returned to Wembley two years later and went one better. Ironically on St. George’s Day, the Welsh side beat Arsenal 1-0 through a Hughie Ferguson effort to lift the cup just seven years after they had joined the Football League.