Cardiff City travel to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday hoping for better fortunes than their recent back to back 1-0 defeats.
The Bluebirds flirted with the play-offs at times last season and will have ambitions of going one better this time around. However, they have struggled from open play, with the eighth least shots outside of set pieces in the division.
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The menacing back three of Sean Morrison, Aden Flint and Curtis Nelson remains a key strength in the side but with Kieffer Moore yet to catch fire in a goalscoring sense the offensive end has dried up.
Missing Ryan Giles sorely from a chance creation perspective has seen their attacking numbers regress as the Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee had already registered four assists when he was ruled out for coronavirus related issues.
With the trip to Tony Mowbray’s Rovers looming large, Ben Brereton Diaz and company will fancy their chances of beating the toothless of late Bluebirds.
Here, then, we take a look a two potential tactical tweaks Mick McCarthy could implement at Ewood Park on Saturday…
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Without Giles in the side it is hard to pinpoint a playmaker in the Cardiff side.
Will Vaulks and Marlon Pack are excellent hardworking central midfielders at Championship level but they are not blessed with the vision or guile to break teams down at will.
Perry Ng has played out a steady start to life in the Welsh capital, arriving in January from Crewe Alexandra, but proved himself as an attacking threat in his time with the Alex.
At a considerably lower level Ng managed 14 assists across 2018/19 and 2019/20 and chipped in with four in the second half of last season in the Championship.
The 25-year-old should have more attacking licence at wing back allowing him to affect games at this level.
Cardiff are not blessed with great wingers and therefore a 3-5-2 system seems more appealing than the 3-4-3 that McCarthy has been sticking to.
With Rubin Colwill or James Collins as viable options to partner Moore up top and an additional central midfielder to help the Bluebirds build attacks.
The versatile Leandro Bacuna could be perfect to step into the middle of the park and the formation could give Ng and Joel Bagan more space in wide areas to whip crosses in.
The last two performances were concerning and these alterations could have a positive impact on the team’s offensive productivity.