Cardiff City are preparing to welcome Birmingham City to the Welsh capital on Saturday afternoon as they aim to bounce back from their miserable defeat in the South Wales derby last weekend.
Neil Warnock’s side delivered a poor performance as they lost 1-0 against bitter rivals Swansea City on Sunday, with Ben Wilmot’s 24th-minute header condemning the Bluebirds to a derby defeat.
The result meant that Cardiff are still yet to win on their travels since last season, with Warnock’s side having depended on their strong home form to see them win their four matches so far this term.
Therefore, their clash with Birmingham at the Cardiff City Stadium could be the perfect opportunity for the Bluebirds to regain their confidence following the Swansea match, even though they face a tough test against Pep Clotet’s side.
Warnock will have a number of selection decisions to make ahead of the clash, with a number of players likely to see their place in the side come under threat following a disjointed performance at the Liberty Stadium.
Here is the starting line-up Warnock could decide to name…
Should Cardiff make wholesale changes following the defeat to Swansea?
Neil Etheridge has recently regained his spot in the Cardiff starting line-up following his spell on the sidelines, and he should keep his place ahead of the Birmingham match, despite his sometimes shaky distribution during the derby defeat.
Warnock will surely be tempted to make changes to his side’s defence following another unconvincing showing last weekend, and this could see Curtis Nelson come into the side in place Aden Flint, who is perhaps in need of a rest after playing every minute of league action this term.
Joe Bennett, Sean Morrison and Lee Peltier should all still retain their places if this is the case, as the Cardiff boss is unlikely to make wholesale changes to the defence he has stuck with in every match so far this term.
Warnock decided to change the formation for the trip to Swansea as Marlon Pack and Joe Ralls started as a midfield pairing with Robert Glatzel partnering Danny Ward up front, but this saw the Bluebirds overrun in midfield and they are likely to revert to a midfield trio this weekend.
This means Pack and Ralls are likely to keep their places in the side, with Leandro Bacuna entering the side to ensure that the Bluebirds are capable of winning the midfield battle on this occasion. Lee Tomlin would stood a chance of starting the match, but he looks unlikely to be fit for this weekend.
Gavin Whyte and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing look set to start on the flanks again with Junior Hoilett set to miss out with an injury problem, while Josh Murphy has struggled to find form since his summer move.
Finally, Ward looks set to retain his place in the side with Glatzel having just been ruled out for a couple of weeks with an injury. The former Rotherham man has made a positive impact from the bench so far this season, and he must now start proving he is capable of performing from the start of matches.