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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Injury crisis is taking its toll on Cardiff

Bluebirds could struggle to stop the rot against Sunderland

Cardiff's Omar Bogle (left)
1 of 1

Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports Football, 12.30pm Saturday

Four successive Sky Bet Championship defeats have seen Cardiff drop out of the automatic promotion places and they could fail to justify favouritism at home to relegation-threatened Sunderland.

Two months ago this fixture would have been seen as a home banker by many punters but injuries are beginning to bite for the Bluebirds and their performances have suffered.

Cardiff’s often outspoken boss Neil Warnock said in October that he believed his squad was so strong that injuries didn’t worry him.

But that theory was severely tested in last weekend’s FA Cup third-round tie with Mansfield when Warnock admitted he was struggling to put 18 players on the teamsheet for the goalless draw with the League Two side.

With almost a whole first team on the treatment table, it is no surprise that the hosts have moved quickly to snap up winger Yanic Wildschut on loan from Norwich on Friday and Warnock has said the reinforcements will not stop there.

For now at least, however, progress is likely to be slow and a defensive-minded Sunderland outfit are capable of claiming at least a point.

Successive relegations is still a real possibility for the Black Cats but they have looked much more solid since Chris Coleman swapped the Wales job for the Stadium of Light gig.

They have secured away wins at Burton and Nottingham Forest and a draw at league leaders Wolves since the Welshman took charge and have been beaten by more than a single goal only twice in the league in that time.

That should give them hope of keeping Cardiff at bay with a 0.75-goal start in the Asian handicap market where your bet will win if Sunderland avoid defeat and half your stake will be refunded if they are beaten by a single goal.

Sunderland +0.75 on Asian handicap
1pt Evs bet365

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Sky Bet Championship standings

Team news
Loanee Yanic Wildschut is available but Neil Warnock still has a lengthy injury list to contend with.

Aiden McGeady and Didier Ndong are major doubts. Darron Gibson is a definite absentee.

Key stat
Sunderland have kept a clean sheet in three of their last four Sky Bet Championship away games.

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Successive relegations is still a real possibility for the Black Cats but they have looked much more solid since Chris Coleman took over as manager
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