An in-depth look ahead at Town’s next Sky Bet Championship opponents
- Huddersfield Town vs Cardiff City
- Tuesday 24 October; 7.45pm; John Smith’s Stadium
- Town look to make it back-to-back wins at home
Having won their previous three fixtures against Cardiff City, the Terriers will be looking to make it four consecutive wins against the Bluebirds for the first time since 1968 to 1970 tomorrow night.
A welcome turn around in form for Town, the Welsh side had been enjoying an undefeated decade in the fixture, having not been on the wrong end of a result between 2011 and 2021, winning 11 times and drawing five during that stretch.
The last meeting between the sides - the 83rd in total - saw Town win away at the Cardiff City Stadium for the very first time since it was opened in 2009 thanks to goals from Matty Pearson and Joe Hungbo.
It’s been a season of change for Cardiff City, which has resulted in some inconsistency with their form. Opening the season with two losses and a draw, their last three matches have matched those results despite winning five of their six fixtures in between.
Sat in 11th position three points above Town, the Bluebirds allowed 13 players to leave permanently in the summer with eight more departing on loan as they refreshed their squad. In their place, eight permanent signings were made with five more arriving on loan.
Having been relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2018/19 campaign, Cardiff have only finished with the Play-Off places once since returning to the Sky Bet Championship, which is likely to be their focus this season.
Hired on 3 June 2023, this is Erol Bulut’s first job in English football having preciously worked in his native Turkey to date. In charge of Yeni Malatyaspor, Alanyaspor, Fenerbahçe and Gaziantep, he had left his previous side in January 2023 before joining Cardiff City.
Having enjoyed a long playing career as a left-back, he started with Eintracht Frankfurt and went on to play for Fenerbahçe and Olympiacos as he represented 13 sides between 1992-2012. In his opening 15 matches with Cardiff City, 48-year-old Bulut has won seven, drawn two and lost six, with his side on an even goal difference having both scored and conceded 24 times.
LAST TIME OUT
Cardiff lost 1-0 at Ewood Park on the weekend after Joe Rankin-Costello gave Blackburn Rovers the lead shortly after half-time. Despite having less possession, the Bluebirds had more shots and more shots on target than the home side, but couldn’t make a breakthrough.
The loss means that Cardiff have won just once of their opening six games away from home in the Sky Bet Championship, with a 0-1 win at Sunderland in September their first points on the road since an opening day draw with Leeds.
Previous Starting XI: Alnwick; Ng, Goutas, McGuiness, Collins; Siopis; Bowler, Wintle, Ralls, Grant; Ugbo
Cardiff haven’t changed their system too often this season, keeping the same 4-2-3-1 shape for their opening six fixtures before making an adjustment. Tweaking that into a 4-3-3, with two wide men moving higher up the pitch, they won their first three fixtures in that more attacking system before losing away at the Riverside against Middlesbrough.
Having then drawn at home with Watford, they adjusted once more, going into the game against Blackburn at Ewood Park in a 4-1-4-1, with a clear emphasis on having more presence and control in the middle of the pitch with the extra bodies.
Interestingly, and despite playing with a four man defence in all of the Sky Bet Championship fixtures to date, Cardiff played two of their three Carabao Cup ties with three at the back, so that’s clearly a shape that their coaching staff are also familiar with.
WHO TO WATCH
Coming through the Arsenal academy, McGuinness spent a season on loan with Ipswich Town before making the move to the Welsh capital. A central defender, the Bluebirds allowed him a season out themselves with Sheffield Wednesday before returning to Wales.
Signing a new four-year contract in the summer of 2023, the 22-year-old defender is held in high esteem by Cardiff, playing 13 times this season so far. McGuinness has also contributed in an attacking sense away from his defensive duties, scoring twice already this campaign.
A youth product of Cardiff City, barring one stint on loan with Yeovil Town, the midfielder has spent his entire career with the Bluebirds, making 361 appearances since making his debut in the 2011/12 campaign. Playing in the centre of midfield, he has also operated in defensive and attacking midfield this season.
Their club captain, Ralls has only missed two games across 2023/24, scoring once and assisting twice whilst being rested for all three of their Carabao Cup ties. Still only 30, he’s been a fixture for some time for the Bluebirds and provides them a steady head in midfield to play through.
On loan from Ligue 1 side Troyes for the season, Ugbo is a product of the Chelsea academy, leaving Cobham on a series of loans before joining Belgian team Genk in 2021 on a permanent deal. It was another loan to Troyes from Gent initially, but that move was itself made permanent the following summer.
Now back in the United Kingdom with Cardiff City, the forward is their joint top scorer on three alongside Aaron Ramsey, who is currently out injured. Having played in 14 of their 15 fixtures so far this season, Ugbo has made more appearances than anyone else for the Bluebirds so far this season.
TOWN TEAM NEWS
Town Manager Darren Moore spoke to the press at the Millers Oils High Performance Complex earlier today, Monday 23 October, discusses the availability of his squad. Watch or listen back in full below via HTTV or HTAFC Sounds
Our second successive home game in HD1, it’s another outing in blue and white for the Terriers!
With a re-stock of our 2023/24 home kit now in place, supporters can CLICK HERE to shop online for all sizes, and utilise our click and collect service to have your shirt ready to pick up before the game.
Supporters still have time to join us at the John Smith’s Stadium tomorrow evening!
CLICK HERE to secure your seat and get behind us as we take on Cardiff City looking for our second win in as many games at home.
Supporters are able to both watch and listen to full coverage of our encounter with Cardiff City on iFollow HTAFC! With both video and audio match passes available, you don’t have to miss a kick if you can’t join us at the John Smith’s Stadium.
CLICK HERE to find out more.