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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

High-flying Bluebirds can edge out draw specialists Derby

Warnock's boys have their eyes on Premier League

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock
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Sky Bet Championship Sky Sports Football, midday Sunday

Wolves have been in such dominant form at the top of the Sky Bet Championship that promotion has seemed just a matter of time for months, but Cardiff deserve credit for making them fight to the finish.

Neil Warnock's Bluebirds have hit got on a roll at just the right time to move into second in the table and they should be confident that they can extend a seven-match unbeaten run when they head to Derby.

The Rams have their own promotion ambitions and are in the thick of the playoff race, but their frustration at having to settle for a draw against arch-rivals Nottingham Forest last week were symbolic of their current travails.

Gary Rowett's side have lost just twice in their last 18 games, but they have been held to seven draws in their last ten outings.

Premier League football will also be a distant dream if they cannot improve a home record of one win in their last six matches, particularly as strugglers Sunderland, Bolton and Barnsley all have to go to Pride Park.

Given their host of injury problems - Rowett complained that he had just ten senior players at training last week - then it is surprising to see the game against a red-hot outfit being chalked up as a choice affair.

Cardiff's run cannot go on for ever, but their purple patch has been coming and the only team to have beaten Warnock's outfit since New Year's Day are Manchester City.

Derby played out a goalless encounter in the Welsh capital earlier in the season and a similarly tight game would not be a surprise.

With under 2.5 goals best-priced at 4-6, that's what bookmakers are expecting.

But there is enough in the Cardiff price to suggest they can be supported with stakes returned if the Rams claim their 15th draw of the season. 

Cardiff draw no bet
2pts Evs Betfair, Paddy Power

Team news
Cameron Jerome, David Nugent, Tom Lawrence, Richard Keogh and Matej Vydra are all struggling and Tom Huddlestone is banned.

Aron Gunnarsson could be involved after an ankle injury

Key stat
Derby have won just one of their last ten Sky Bet Championship matches.

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Derby earned a goalless encounter in the Welsh capital earlier in the season and a similarly tight game would not be a surprise
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