Bluebirds could have wings clipped by Leeds
Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports Football/Main Event, 7.45pm Tuesday
Neither team were heavily fancied at the start of the season with Cardiff available at 30-1 and Leeds 18-1.
However, there has been nothing fortunate about their strong starts.
Cardiff have enhanced their squad this summer and must be delighted with winger Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, who has netted four goals in nine league games since a switch from Peterborough.
But the key to their improvement is wily manager Neil Warnock, who spoke all summer about mounting a promotion push.
Since inheriting a side who were second-bottom last October he has led Cardiff to 21 wins, 11 draws and 12 defeats.
That record would suggest City have every chance of lasting the pace but they could be joined by Leeds in the end-of-season promotion shake-up.
Leeds bought well in the summer with new arrivals Felix Wiedwald, Ezgjan Alioski, Samuel Saiz and Vurnon Anita quickly establishing themselves as important players.
But Hamburg loanee Pierre-Michael Lasogga is shaping up as the pick of the additions, having netted three goals in four league games since his arrival from the Bundesliga.
Leeds are the division's top scorers and they have a solid defensive base whenever first-choice centre-backs Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper are available.
In the five games the duo have started, Leeds have kept five clean sheets. In the other six games, Leeds have managed just one shutout.
Jansson has missed the last two games through injury but his expected return should be a massive help in coping with Cardiff's direct style.
The home side are also likely to be stronger than at the weekend with first-team regulars Lee Peltier, Sol Bamba and Junior Hoilett returning but perhaps not quite strong enough to get the victory they crave.
1pt 5-2 bet365
Danny Ward missed Saturday's match at Sunderland with a virus and could come back into contention. Lee Peltier (groin) should return.
Pontus Jansson is expected to shake off a minor hamstring injury, leaving Caleb Ekuban (foot) as the only absentee.
Cardiff have lost one of their last 11 home fixtures.
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