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Preview: Cardiff City v Blues

Our weapons are our football and we go with our weapons to Cardiff with nothing to fear.

Pep Clotet

Our full match preview ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship fixture between The Bluebirds and Blues at the Cardiff City Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Pep Clotet on the mood in the camp following three victories in the last four games...
"Confidence is high when you get wins especially the way we got the last few. We were able to link some very good performances with the results. People are in good spirits but the mentality when it comes to training is still to get better and know how everyone plays and try to improve so it's a good moment to keep pushing forward."

Pep Clotet on the importance of set-plays in scoring goals...
"Two goals on Saturday came from it, one directly, one indirectly, they're very important. Nowadays at least 20 per cent of goals come from set-pieces as an average, probably in the Championship that average will be up to 30. It’s a very important department and we are developing the set-plays that we had last season and we became very successful with. In the beginning it took time to kick-off and probably the same experience will happen."

Pep Clotet on what sort of challenge he expects from Cardiff...
"Cardiff are a strong side at home. I expect it to be a physical challenge. Their side attacks very quickly and they pose a lot of problems wide. Their attacks in the box come from those sorts of situations. They always put pressure on whoever has got the ball, so it's going to be difficult to stamp our football into it. You expect quality, because they have some quality players. The last time we went to Cardiff it was difficult and that squad got promoted and some of the same players are still there. We need to be at our best and focus on our strengths and try and put our beliefs into our football and try to be ourselves."

Pep Clotet asked if Cardiff losing to their Welsh rivals Swansea last weekend makes them a more dangerous proposition...
"Yes, absolutely. Neal Warnock has always had the ability to get his teams to bounce back from tough situations. That's something you need to be very good at to get promoted so many times like him. I expect it to be a tough game. But again, our weapons are our football and we go with our weapons to Cardiff with nothing to fear. "

Pep Clotet on Blues trying to replicate their home performances in away games...
"In my opinion we need to be the same home and away. Our idea is to try and be ourselves and try to put our stamp on games and cause problems for the opposition. When we analyse a team, we analyse how can we hurt them? Then we take into consideration how they can hurt us. The most important thing for us is how can we develop our game to cause them problems? When I'm doing something the only thing I can do is be as good as possible."

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock's comments ahead of the game and following their defeat to Swansea...
"When we lost four or five on the trot in January there was a bit of criticism, but it’s not like a local derby. To play like we did, I’m not bothered with whoever you are, you’re not going to come away without criticism, and quite rightly so. That’s why we have to face it, it’s easy to turn your back. I’ve always been straight with them. We were poor, and we’ve got to improve and be better. We’ve still lost two in 12 games and four of the away games Wigan, Millwall, Blackburn and I can’t remember the other one. I think there’s four games we could have won, which could have given us another eight points. It is disappointing, but life’s too short and you’ve got to get on with it. But we can’t be left feeling too sorry for ourselves. We’ve got two really tough home games. Birmingham are flying at the moment and then there’s a derby with Bristol City. Birmingham play a style that will be difficult to break down. We’ve just got to try and do our best."

Blues team news...
Midfielders Gary Gardner (knee) and Maikel Kieftenbeld (knee) remain out. Goalkeeper David Stockdale injured his hand in training and is unavailable. Jefferson Montero is back in training after recovering from his thigh injury but Pep Clotet says he will not figure this weekend.

Cardiff team news...
Former Blues forward Omar Bogle could figure for the Bluebirds. Robert Glatzel, Junior Hoilett and Curtis Nelson will all miss out because of injuries. Lee Tomlin and Sol Bamba are doubts.

Last five meetings between Cardiff and Blues...
Championship 10 Mar 2018 Cardiff 3 Blues 2
Championship 13 Oct 2017 Blues 1 Cardiff 0
Championship 11 Mar 2017 Cardiff 1 Blues 1
Championship 06 Aug 2016 Blues 0 Cardiff 0
Championship 07 May 2016 Cardiff 1 Blues 1

Total meetings between Cardiff and Blues...
Cardiff wins: 26
Draws: 16
Blues wins: 29

Form guide...
Cardiff: WLDDL
Blues: LWLWW

Line-ups last league game...
Blues (4-4-2) v Blackburn Rovers: Camp, Pedersen, Roberts, Colin, Crowley (Maghoma, 87), Jutkiewicz, Dean, Villalba, Mrabti (Gimenez, 77), Bellingham (David Davis, 87), Sunjic.
Subs (not used): Trueman, Harding, Clarke-Salter, Bailey.

Swansea v Cardiff (4-4-2): Etheridge, Peltier, Morrison, Flint, Bennett, Ralls, Flint, Whyte (Paterson 80), Mendez-Laing (Murphy 80), Ward, Glatzel (Bogle 63)
Subs (not used): Smithies, Nelson, Vaulks, Bacuna.

BluesTV...
BluesTV will be streaming the match live to International Subscribers. Those in the Great Britain and Ireland can get exclusive audio commentary. Commentary will be provided by Jonathan Bell and Dale Moon. For more details about bluesTV, click here.

Match officials...
Andrew Madley will take charge of Saturday's game at the Cardiff City Stadium. So far this season the West Yorkshire-based official has refereed seven games, where he has produced a total of 23 yellow cards and one red. The last Blues game he refereed was our Sky Bet Championship home fixture against West Bromwich Albion in September 2018. That match ended in a 1-1 draw and there were three players booked; including Harlee Dean and Maikel Kieftenbeld for the hosts. He has refereed eight Blues game to date, two of which we have won, three we have drawn and three we have lost. The last Cardiff game he refereed was their Premier League away fixture at Watford in December 2018. Cardiff lost that encounter 3-2 and no players from either side were cautioned. He has refereed a total of 14 Bluebirds game to date, with the Welsh side winning seven of them, drawing one and losing six of them. Mr Madley will be assisted on Saturday by Simon Long and Paul Hodskinson, with Sam Purkiss acting as the fourth official.

Tickets...
Blues have sold out of our full and final allocation up to 2,654 tickets.

Supporter message...
The Club urges all supporters to be responsible in their behaviour and actions. Birmingham City knows that the overwhelming majority of our supporters do not indulge in anti-social activities and are passionate about the players and the Club. We appreciate this. We adopt a zero-tolerance stance on anti-social behaviour and spectator misconduct. This includes - amongst other things - drunkenness, throwing of missiles and use and carrying of pyrotechnics (flares, smoke bombs), racist and/or homophobic chanting. Pitch encroachment is forbidden and against the law. Please DO NOT encroach onto the pitch. Any person found to be encroaching on the pitch will automatically be served with a banning order - regardless of the circumstances. It is important that bottles, coins, flares and other items not thrown at our matches. Again, we would like to thank the overwhelming majority of supporters for their backing and their understanding.

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