Leeds United bounced back against the Bolton Wanderers with a brace from Mirco Antenucci that will have hopefully patched up the Whites' brittle confidence ahead of this Capital encounter. However, Tuesday nights in the capital (albeit the Welsh Capital) usually do not go too well for Leeds.
Being in the press for all the wrong reasons in previous seasons, Cardiff City have been the quiet achievers this time around. The Blue Birds (no, Red, no Blue again) are only one place off the playoff spots on goal difference and current manager Russell Slade must fancy his team's chances of taking something from the game, providing eccentric owner Vincent Tan doesn't derail them between now and kick off.
Dubbed as being similar to a James Bond villain, Vincent Tan took over at Cardiff in 2010 and since then has made some horrific choices that have angered and alienated fans. Hideously out of touch, he decided to change the colour of the home kit from blue to red, employed a young painter as head of recruitment, oversaw the relegation from the Premiership, and meddles with the team to the extent that he has demanded they must take 30 or 40 shots per game (he'd pull his hair out at Leeds then).
But wait... meddling with the team? Out of touch with fans? All this must sound painfully familiar to Leeds fans as we have an archvillain of our own. There were further high-profile protests at Elland Road on Saturday including a mock funeral and a "Massimo time to go" fly-over banner. There could be a battle of villains in the board room on Tuesday, and both sets of fans may secretly hope an imaginary Bond style scene evolves during which the floor opens and both of the villains are dropped into a shark-infested pool.
All that being said, Tan has been on a better footing of late with fans. He has reversed the kit change decision and Cardiff have recently posted their first profit since he took over... and he is yet to introduce a 'pie-tax.'
Despite what Steve Evans says about the Leeds fans protests not affecting his team on the grass, he may welcome the change of scenery and the respite from off-field antics it will bring. With that in mind, and with Antenucci coming into form, Evans should go on the offensive with an attacking attitude. Bridcutt's performance against Bolton was not his best, and with our lack of pace, sitting back allowing Cardiff to attack and hoping to hit on the break is too dangerous.
We have a midfield to match theirs and should adopt the theory that attack is the best form of defence. Injuries permitting, this may prove to be the case.
Liam Cooper may be out on Tuesday after pulling a Hamstring against Bolton. Sol Bamba may get another shot after his performance against Bolton as a result. Lewie Coyle was also injured against Bolton and should he not be fit then Berardi may slot in at right back. This could allow for a 4-4-2 with Antenucci and Souleymane Doukara making up the two forward positions.
Cardiff have won three, drawn one, and lost one in their last five games. They have scored nine and conceded five.
From their last five, Leeds have lost two, drawn two, and won once. The Whites have scored three but conceded seven.
From 23 meetings at Cardiff, Leeds have only won once. The Blue Birds have won 16 of those meetings with 6 drawn. History is not on our side on Tuesday night.
Leeds United player to watch
Mirco Antenucci improved after being called back into the starting lineup, and with his contract up at the end of the season will be looking to impress. He was on target twice against Bolton and if supplied with ammunition could find the net again Tuesday. He also mentioned he'd like to stay on at Leeds through the summer, so it's time to show Cellino why we should keep him.
Cardiff City players to watch
Anthony Pilkington has scored eight times for Cardiff so far this season and is their leading marksman. Now an experienced international with the Republic of Ireland, he can cause problems for defenders and should be watched by the Leeds defence.
Cardiff City v Leeds United
Football League Championship
Stadiwm Dinas Caerdydd
LUTV, BBC Leeds Radio
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
11:45a PT / 2:45p ET / 7:45p BT
Silvestri, Taylor, Bellusci, Bamba, Berardi, Murphy, Bridcutt, Mowatt, Cook, Doukara, Antenucci
Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Wootton, Diagouraga, Carayol, Dallas, Botaka, Erwin
Marshall, Fabio, Connolly, Manga, Malone, Lawrence, O'Keefe, Ralls, Whittingham, Pilkington, Immers
Subs: Noone, Dikgacoi, Moore, Morrison, Zohore, Ameobi, Saadi
1-1. Last time I picked this scoreline, it went badly wrong, but I genuinely feel this will be a draw, and considering our scoring exploits I'll stick with a low score.
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