It has been over three months since a ball was kicked in the Championship and the teams will be back in action this weekend. First up for league leaders Leeds United is a tricky test away at Cardiff City. Leeds will be hoping to solidify the gap between themselves and Fulham in third place. 9th Cardiff will be hoping to continue their push for the playoffs.
Leeds United Restart Promotion Push Away at Cardiff City
Before the season was abruptly halted, Cardiff’s form had been hit and miss after just one win in five. The last game, however, saw them win 2-0 away at bottom club Barnsley, and they will be hoping for more of the same when Leeds come to the Cardiff City Stadium.
Leeds were in perfect form before play was stopped, winning five from five with no goals conceded. The Whites will be hoping the run is able to continue, and they will be looking to avoid any slip-ups as they aspire to clinch automatic promotion to the Premier League.
Head to Head
Historically, this has proved a tricky fixture for Leeds. Leeds have only managed to beat their Welsh rivals three times in the last 20 meetings. Cardiff have often been referred to as a bogey team for Leeds and the Bluebirds will be hoping this rings true in the opener.
Despite this, Leeds have won two out of their last three visits to the Cardiff City Stadium. The Whites most recent visit, however, ended in a 3-1 Victory for Cardiff.
Earlier in the season, the two sides played out an exciting 3-3 draw at Elland Road. Leeds had led 3-0 at one point, but Cardiff were able to come back fighting to take a point. Both sides will be hoping for a more relaxed game than last time out. Despite this, goals are common within this fixture and there hasn’t been a 0-0 draw since 2004.
The Bluebirds should have a largely fully fit squad to choose from. Neil Harris announced that Lee Tomlin and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing should be available. Both players had long term injuries before the season stopped, however, they have recovered in time for the opening fixture.
Leeds have been quiet over their squad availability but should hope to have a more or less fully fit squad. It has been rumoured that key playmaker Pablo Hernandez may be out injured, and it is believed Jean Kevin Augustine has suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury which has limited him to only three substitute appearances.
A vitally important game for both sides and both managers will know they need to hit the ground running. Marcelo Bielsa will have had his players working extremely hard throughout lockdown, but Cardiff away is a challenging fixture for any side.
Leeds are capable of playing through any team on their day, however, Cardiff are no pushovers and with a fully fit squad, they will be a real threat. We are yet to see how no crowds in the Championship will impact these teams, but the intensity between these teams will still be there. Both sides will be going for the win, however, neither will be too disappointed with a draw.
Prediction: Cardiff City 1-1 Leeds United