Date:Tuesday January 4 2011
Cardiff City host fellow promotion hopefuls Leeds Untied tonight but only on of those sides is showing promotion form with the Whites unbeaten in 12, and the Bluebirds in dismal form and having conceded 7 in two heavy consecutive defeats.
Both Cardiff and Leeds are heavily attack-minded, and both show serious defensive flaws. However, in one way our styles seem to differ to the extreme with the discliplinary records of both clubs at differnt ends of the Championship standings.
Accoridng to official football league statistics, Leeds United are officially the 'dirtiest' team in the Championship, having amassed a 324 fouls in the league this season. Thats streets ahead of their nearest 'rivals' for that accolade with Reading, Millwall and Coventry City languishing behind on 307.
By absolute contrast, Cardiff City have been penalised 229 times, almost 100 behind our rivals. That statistic sees us placed at the very foot of the standings with only Watford (206) having committed fewer infringements.
In terms of bookings, Leeds United again top the pile with 51 cautions already this campaign. Preston North End come next with 46 and the Bluebirds again look timid by comparison having collected just 30 yellow cards - although there are 4 teams who have less (Scunthorpe Utd are the best behaved with 23).
Leeds Utd have 2 red cards to our one dismissal, while both teams have conceded 3 spot-kicks.
The above statistics do tend to suggest what many fans fear - Cardiff City do not show enough fight, commitment or steel. Of course, fouling people shows none of those attributes, but we are often bullied by other teams, and Leeds United certainly aren't afraid of putting the boot in and getting stuck in.
Maybe Cardiff City do need to get a bit 'nastier' and refuse to be intimidated. We lack the toughness of other teams in the league and, given Leeds' reputation as outlined above, tonight will prove a big test of the Bluebirds mettle and mentality.
Date:Tuesday January 4 2011
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