Cardiff Vs Sheff Utd (Match Preview)
Cardiff City host Sheffield United in the first of the Christmas period games.
The Blades travel from Yorkshire in some semblence of form, but thats all they've had in what has been a disappointing season to date. It's winning streaks that help enourmously in this division, and Sheffield have not been able to string performances together and remain remarkably inconsistent.
Just a few weeks ago, the Blades came back from 2 goals down to snatch a point from us, an 85 minute goal and 90th minute equaliser from Chris Morgan - extremely frustrating for Cardiff City.
The Blades triumphed in a local derby against Barnsley but lost back to back games before that. Away from home, they seem formidable with 4 wins and a draw from the precious 6 on their travels - so they must arrive with some confidence.
James Beattie has 12 league goals and will be a major threat for Loovens & co. Tonge and Montgomerie will pull the strings in midfield and on paper at least, Sheffield United are a force to be reckoned with.
Cardiff City have improved markedly of late, but were set-back in a 1-0 derby defeat to Bristol City. However, there were many positives to that game after a spirited performance in playing the majority of the game with 10 men and looking dangerous second half.
Cardiff's home form is poor. A 4-1 thrashing of Colchester was the last game at Ninian Park, but before that a dire 2-0 defeat to Charlton with a terrible performance barely worthy of the League of Wales.
It's a crucial game for both sides as they both struggle to match pre-season expectations. They will both be thinking of targets over the festive period and both would dearly love to start with a win to ease pressure and begin a concerted climb up the table.
I think a draw is most likely in the cold of Ninian Park, although with crowd support and a fast tempo - Cardiff City have a good chance of a win providing we can make the most of our chances for once and prove that the last month has seen a real improvement.