MX23RW : Sunday, July 3 02:08:59| >> :120:37722:37722:
[monks data]
Sep 12, 2015 at 3pm UK at Cardiff City Stadium


Pilkington (69'), Mason (77')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield Town

Sports Mole check on the preparations of Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town ahead of Saturday's Championship clash.

Cardiff City will look to protect their unbeaten record when they welcome Huddersfield Town to the Welsh capital on Saturday afternoon.

Huddersfield are still looking for their first victory of the new campaign after picking up just three points from five matches.


Joe Mason of Cardiff City during the pre season friendly match between Cardiff City and Watford at Cardiff City Stadium on July 28, 2015© Getty Images

Cardiff supporters may be reluctant to get too excited about an unbeaten start to the season, but the early signs are promising for Russell Slade's side as they look to improve on their 11th-place finish in the previous campaign.

After the battles which have taken place on and off the pitch in the last couple of years, the Bluebirds will be happy to have a settled squad which looks capable of challenging for promotion, and after tasting the Premier League once, a return to the top tier will always be the target.

A 2-1 victory from a trip to Nottingham Forest before the international break was further proof that Slade's squad are heading in the right direction, and it was certainly a result which has made their start to the campaign look even better.

Two wins from five matches may have not been celebrated much, but it is the performances in three draws while often being on the back foot which should boost the Cardiff boss.

Idriss Saadi's arrival has added another attacking option to a side which has scored five times in five league games, but keeping both David Marshall and Joe Mason at the club in the latter stages of the window could prove to be the most important piece of business for Cardiff as they look to build on a promising start.

Recent form: DDDWW
Recent form (all competitions): WDDWWW


Manager Chris Powell of Huddersfield Town gestures during Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Huddersfield Town at Elland Road Stadium on September 20, 2014© Getty Images

After never really looking like being relegated at the business end of last season, fans of the Terriers must be hopeful that another safe finish in mid-table will be secured once again.

It may be too soon to change the expectations for the season after just five games, but the early signs must surely come as a worry to Chris Powell, who has watched his side lose two and draw three matches so far.

Defeats to promotion hopefuls Hull City and Queens Park Rangers either side of three successive draws may not have come as a surprise, and the big concern for Powell will be that his team have failed to secure a clean sheet in their opening five matches.

A response to the need for defensive reinforcements saw Huddersfield bring in Elliott Ward from Bournemouth on a 28-day loan, while a loan deal for Nottingham Forest winger Jamie Paterson hands them a boost at the other end of the pitch.

After a busy summer in the transfer market, Powell will be hopeful that his squad will finally begin to gel following more time together during the international break.

Trips to Cardiff and Charlton Athletic within the space of a few days are sure to provide even tougher tests, and the pressure to claim a first victory is growing by the day as Huddersfield look to prove that a relegation battle is not on the cards.

Recent form: LDDDL
Recent form (all competitions): LLDDDL

Team News

Jamie Paterson of Nottingham Forest celebrates scoring the equalising goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday at City Ground on April 8, 2014© Getty Images

Huddersfield boss Powell is likely to make a number of changes to his side as Paterson, Ward and Emyr Huws all push to earn debuts for their new club.

Mustapha Carayol, who joined from Middlesbrough last month, could also be handed a start after coming off the bench against QPR before the international break.

Kenwyne Jones has scored to help Cardiff to victories in their last two matches and he should keep his place up front, while Kagisho Dikgacoi, Peter Whittingham and Joe Ralls are all set to start in midfield.

Aron Gunnarsson was battling a groin injury before the international break, but he should return to the squad after playing a key role in guiding Iceland to Euro 2016.

Cardiff possible starting lineup:
Marshall, Peltier, Morrison, Connolly, Fabio, Pilkington, Ralls, Dikgacoi, Whittingham, Mason, Jones

Huddersfield possible starting lineup:
Murphy, Smith, Ward, Lynch, Davidson, Huws, Whitehead, Butterfield, Paterson, Carayol, Wells

Head To Head

Huddersfield will be wary of the threat posed by Jones, who scored twice to lead Cardiff to a 3-1 victory when the Terriers last visited in August 2014.

The two sides played out a goalless draw in the reverse fixture in February, and three of the last five games have ended with the teams sharing the points.

Cardiff are unbeaten in the last five fixtures between the two sides and have not lost to Huddersfield since a 1-0 defeat in the League Cup in 2003.

Video Preview

Hit play below to see what the Sports Mole Sofa had to say about this encounter:

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We say: Cardiff 2-0 Huddersfield

Despite showing some impressive resilience in the early stages of the season, Huddersfield's need for a first victory is clear, even at this stage of the campaign. However, Cardiff have improved in each game and Slade's side look a safe bet to extend their unbeaten run with a victory.

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Joe Mason of Cardiff City during the pre season friendly match between Cardiff City and Watford at Cardiff City Stadium on July 28, 2015
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