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Cardiff v City: Bluebirds scouting report

REPORT: Cardiff sit third in the Championship

REPORT: Cardiff sit third in the Championship

Manchester City face Cardiff in the FA Cup fourth round this weekend as our assault on four competitions continues.

And ahead of kick off, we've taken a closer look at Neil Warnock's high-flying Championship side. 

Form

Cardiff have been excellent for much of the season. 

They sit third in the Championship, two points behind second-placed Derby County. 

However, they've lost four of their last six in the league, their worst run of form this season. Their 4-0 win over Sunderland and last weekend's 0-0 draw with Sheffield Wednesday has arrested a run of four consecutive league defeats. 

Style

Cardiff play a direct style, with long balls up to frontman Kenneth Zohore a clear tactic. 

City will have to be prepared for that threat. Zohore has pace that could trouble our back four and he will be charged with gathering any long balls and bringing others into play. He has only scored four times this season in 20 appearances but he has an all-round game that is key to Cardiff’s style.

Joe Ralls and Marko Grujic will be given the task of taming City’s creativity in central areas. Ralls, in particular, is well-versed in disrupting the opposition and has been one of Cardiff’s most consistent performers this season. His ability to spray the ball around is a portent weapon. 

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Highlights

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Grujic, on loan from Liverpool who he joined in January 2016 for £5.1 million, is a Serbia international with plenty of technical quality. Seeing how he fits into the side will be a fascinating subplot of Sunday’s game. He was much sought-after when it became clear Liverpool were prepared to let him leave. 

Expect Cardiff, in front of a packed, partisan crowd, to start quickly and press City in an attempt to disrupt our play. And when they win possession, they will look to play long balls and hit Zohore early.

Dangerman

Cardiff's main attacking threat is undoubtedly Junior Hoilett.

The winger has scored eight goals from wide areas this season and brings the kind of pace and trickery that can cause any side problems. His brace in the last round against Mansfield is a big reason they are in the hat for the fourth round.

Considered inconsistent by many in the past, the 27-year-old has found his groove at Cardiff under Neil Warnock. He is now one of the best players in the Championship.

Making sure his threat is limited will be important. 

READ: City Stats | The season so far

READ: League Cup final memories

What Warnock has said

"Our lads will look forward to it, we have to try and be organised and hope they have a bad day. We need to try and get some inside information about how Liverpool did it (beat Man City).”

Injuries

Danny Ward, Matt Connolly, Aron Gunnarsson, Lee Peltier and Craig Bryson are currently injured for Cardiff City.

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