Sheff Wed vs Cardiff (Match Preview)
Cardiff City make the long trip North to face struggling Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
The Owls are in a suprisingly lowly league position sitting in 23rd position with just 32 points from 31 games. After a strong finish to last season, the Owls looked sure of a mid table finish this year but the sales of key players Chris Brunt and Glenn Whelan has caused a dramatic slump.
Injuries have also hindered Sheff Wed's form with top scorer Akpo Sodje likely to miss the entire season, while Francis Jeffers has also been out for a lengthy spell.
Cardiff triumphed over the Owls (January 12th) courtesy of a 1-0 win at Ninian Park, Hasselbaink the scorer and results have not been impressive for Wednesday since. A derby win over Sheffield United raised hoes but was followed by three consecutive 2-1 defeats. The latest game saw Wednessday outplay promotion chasing Charlton Athletic, but they couldn't find the goal they deserved and had to settle for a 0-0 draw.
Marcus Tudgay leads the scoring charts for Wednesday while former Cardiff City favourite Graham Kavanagh has been brought in to add control in midfield. There are some genuinely talented players at Hillsborough and they are sure to put up strong resistance to the threat of relegation.
Cardiff City's form is difficult to interpret. A superb January gave way to a so-far disappointing February with back-to-back defeats and a disappointing draw at Coventry City. However, the draw halted the run of defeats and was followed by an emphatic 2-0 cup victory over Wolves where the visitors were made to look like Schoolboys by a dazzling Bluebirds first half display.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink put in a great performance last time out while Paul Parry was also dangerous. Although unbalanced, the midfield remains effective with teenager Aaron Ramsey impressing in an unfamiliar wide role.
Both teams are in relatively poor league form with just one point each from 3 games. However, Cardiff's cup run and impressive victory points to a confident and assured side. We need the points to keep in touch with the play-off pack, while the Owls need to pull clear of a relegation battle. Vital Cardiff City predicts a 2-1 win for Cardiff City.